Fantasy Impact: New York Giants selects Johnathan Hankins
Johnathan Hankins is as frustrating of a prospect as any in this year’s draft. At 6’3”, 320 pounds, Hankins is a physically imposing defender that has the ability to assert himself at will early in games. He has the ability to move blockers wherever he wants them to go, and if he can’t split a double team (which he usually can with relative ease), then he certainly keeps them occupied for the duration of the play. For a man his size, he really has no issues getting to the ball carrier, which is seen in his 11 tackles for a loss in 2011. Throw in the additional awareness that he possesses, which allows him to know when to give up on the block and move with the ball carrier or drop back into coverage.
Despite this impressive skill set, there are also many rips on Hankins. Most notably is his conditioning, which shouldn’t be that surprising for a man of his size. He clearly fades as games progress, though not for his lack of effort. His 40 yard dash time of 5.31 seconds did nothing to help these conditioning concerns. As a result, he’s probably a rotational defensive piece right now, which isn’t necessarily the worst thing.
Just like the player he’s been compared to, Vince Wilfork, Hankins has limitless potential to become a monster nose tackle. Whether he chooses to take advantage of his natural abilities and put in the work to get stronger, leaner, and better conditioned will determine if he can reach this potential. If he does, there’s almost no doubt that he can be a defensive anchor that demands double teams lest teams want to chance him getting to the quarterback or ball carrier in the backfield. If he doesn’t he will simply be an average role player used to provide some muscle up the middle.
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference
Defensive tackle will be a crowded house for the Giants next year with 2010 pick Linval Joesph and 2011 pick Marvin Austin looking to get on the field, as will veterans Cullen Jenkins and Shaun Rogers. Being a second round pick will give Hankins a run at a starting role, but his fantasy value will be limited. In a class littered with high quality defensive tackles Hankins will likely go undrafted in all but the deepest rookie drafts.