Johnathan Hankins: Video Highlights for Former Ohio State Defensive Tackle
At a time when interior disruptors have never been more critical to defensive success, the deepest pool of talent in this year's draft can arguably be found on the inside. It's not out of the realm of possibility for four defensive tackles to be taken in the top 15 picks of the draft.
Johnathan Hankins is a big, stout, strong-bodied trench battler who excels at holding his ground and clogging running lanes. He has the versatility to fit in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive front and could play any position on the line.
However, outside of stopping the run, Hankins doesn't flash much talent in any other area of his game. Let's take a look at some of his top plays during his college career.
Stop for a Loss of Four Yards
Hankins does an excellent job of quickly diagnosing the play and finding the ball in the backfield while engaged. While not known for being quick off the snap, Hankins displays the ability to blow by his opponent by using his terrific size to his advantage.
This combination of size and strength are a dream for teams featuring a three-man front.
Showcasing Scheme Versatility
Part of what makes Johnathan Hankins such an enticing prospect is his scheme versatility. In the above play against Cal, Hankins not only plays end in a three-man front, but he also ends up doing what he does best.
The offensive tackle does a great job of allowing Hankins to initially take himself out of the play by running too far into the backfield. However, No. 52 does a good job of dropping his weight and changing direction aggressively, and still stuffs the run.
Playing with Leverage
Hankins does a great job of remaining stout and maintaining leverage throughout every clip in this video, but in the first play that I have cued up here, he does a particularly good job of not giving up any ground to his opponent.
Through the video, Hankins almost never takes a step backward. He consistently clogs running lanes and drives opposing offensive linemen into one another. Hankins' ability to quickly engage and press blockers may sound simple, but is a difficult skill set to find.
Ability to Take on Two Offensive Lineman
Here, Michigan State seems to have employed a game plan designed to always double-team Hankins, who generally does a great job of anchoring his two opponents to allow the linebackers behind him to run unencumbered.
On this particular play, however, Hankins manages to burst through the double-team and pursue the runner from behind for the tackle.
Pursuit and Motor
Penn State's duo of double-teamers was quite effective for much of this game, but Hankins still managed to shine. Hankins' motor and willingness to never give up on a play are big assets on the defensive line.
If you want to see the best example of this in the NFL, watch Kyle Vanden Bosch on a down-by-down basis over the last few seasons. Penn runs this play away from Hankins, who is once again showing his positional versatility by playing end in a four-man front.
Rather than halfheartedly jog after the running back, he ends up catching up to the runner and tackling for a loss.
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