Just a few hours ago, it was announced that the Colts have signed NT Johnathan Hankins. For the first time in the Pagano era, we finally have a legit NT. He did play DT for the Giants next to his All-Pro teammate, Damon Harrison. At Ohio St., under DC Luke Fickell, they ran a hybrid base 4-3 defense with Hankins at DT. In New York, Hankins played 3-tech and NT for 3 years until "Snacks" Harrison came on board, when Hankins was forced to play DT.Could be argued that he played out of position there. But, Hankins certainly has the measurables to play NT and his style of play can be showing of that as well. His best contributions for this defense will be as a 0-technique two gap NT. When asked where he could play regarding defensive scheme, Hankins answered this at his 2013 pro day:
"I feel like I could play either in a 3-4 or a 4-3. I’m a defensive tackle, but I think I could play anywhere on the line."
Hankins is the definition of a run stopper and attracts double teams frequently. He isn't a great pass rusher, which affected his play when he spent most of his time as a 4-3 DT. He's not an explosive player or someone who is going to wreck havoc in the opponents backfield play after play. But, for someone of his skill-set, he does do a nice job of getting to the quarterback. It was only a couple years ago that he obtained 7 sacks as a 22 year old. Where Hankins will really earn his money is as a run stopper. Even though the Giants played a base 4-3, they did have sets where Hankins played 0-technique. Those plays were usually stuffed for little to no gain. His tackling is also above average for his position. Hankins uses a rare combination of power and agility to pressure the pocket while doing a great job adjusting to pick up the run. Quite athletic for someone his size. Gets a very low base and usually sustains it to gain leverage on lineman. Has the mobility to chase tailbacks along the line.One concern is that he seems to get tired quickly and is usually out of gas near the end of games. Needs better conditioning. Doesn't have big hands for someone his size, which could be bad if he needs to punch off lineman and do a rip move. Will get off balance when he can't get proper leverage off his low stance.
Nice burst from the line and uses his hands to punch away the lineman's hands. Bends through the B-gap perfectly and keeps his balance to get the strip sack. Great look.
Takes on the double-team like he should and perfectly disengages off both lineman to make a tackle on the ball carrier. This guy is money on run-situations. (Also against the best O-line in football)
Overpowers the guard into the backfield for a TFL on the RB. Impressive showing of his core and lower body strength,as he can secure the tackle with his lone right hand.
Nice first step from the snap and shrugs off the block of the OG, Michael Ola, and wraps up the tackle on the running back.
Hankins stunts on this play when JPP makes a move inside. The result is Hankins bends the corner and strip-sacks RGIII. Good footwork by Hankins and awareness to time the stunt.
Even though it doesn't look like Hankins does anything, he seals the interior and forces the RB to bounce outside. But, there is no one to contain the edge, which made this run a 6-7 yard gain. Hankins could've made a better effort disengaging the block of the guard to make a play on the ball carrier.
Just wanted to include this play to showcase Hankin's raw strength. Tosses down 6'4" 320 Brian Winters like its nothing. Also has the awareness to go after the fumble.
Gets swallowed up by the block of Villanueva and gets completely taken out of the play. Looked like his footing and leverage was lost from the snap.
Gets swallowed up again by the guard again, while also getting driven back. To be fair, his matchup is Josh Sitton, who is a premier guard in this league.