Ohio State DT Johnathan Hankins Declares for 2013 NFL Draft

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 10, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 8: Defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins #52 of the Ohio State Buckeyes takes an angle on quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game at Memorial Stadium October 8, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Ohio State 34-27. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Ohio State’s star defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins has decided to forgo his senior year with the Buckeyes and declare for the NFL draft.

ESPN’s Austin Ward reported Hankins’ decision via Twitter, and The OZone’s Brandon Castel noted that the junior will still finish his degree:

Ohio State has announced that Johnathan Hankins has elected to go pro.

— Austin Ward (@BuckeyesBeat) December 10, 2012

Hankins, 20, said he plans to return to Ohio State to finish his degree in criminology. He is projected as a first-round pick in the draft.

— Brandon Castel (@BCastOZone) December 10, 2012

The 6’3”, 317-pound lineman has a bright future ahead of him as a professional, and as Castel alluded to, both Rob Rang and Dan Brugler of CBS Sports have pegged him as a first-round pick in the 2013 draft.

This season, Hankins recorded 55 total tackles in addition to four tackles for a loss and one sack. His play in the trenches earned him a spot on this year’s All-Big Ten Team.

He is currently the No. 8 rated player on Scouts Inc.’s Top 32 and has an overall grade of 95. Hankins is the second-highest-rated defensive tackle behind Utah’s Star Lotulelei.

While Hankins does not contribute much as a pass-rusher, he is dominant against the run and a physical force inside. He is a player who demands double-teams due to his size and strength.

He has shown exceptional toughness through his career in Columbus and did not deal with any significant injuries in college. 

The versatility and reliability he showed for the Buckeyes will certainly be missed as the program attempts to continue the momentum it built during its undefeated 2012 campaign. Next year, Ohio State will be eligible to play in a bowl game again.

While Hankins will miss out on the Buckeyes’ 2013 season, he is on track for a long and successful NFL career.