Summary: Hankins is a massive tackle who takes up a lot of space and blockers at the point of attack. He was a key cog in Ohio State's defense and played a huge role in the Buckeyes enjoying an undefeated season in 2012. After playing in his final game, Hankins quickly announced that he would skip his senior season to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
Hankins had an excellent season this year. The junior was a dominant force in Week 3 versus California. He totaled 10 tackles and a sack while making plays all over the field. Hankins made tackles outside of his gap. One was on a wide receiver screen on the perimeter. He was beating double-team blocks from a guard and center to stuff runs at the line of scrimmage.
Hankins only had three tackles against Michigan, but he played well. Hankins had some nice pass rushes and helped force a critical fumble. Officially, the forced fumble was given to a teammate, but Hankins deserved it. He played well against Michigan State the previous week, too, and was an essential part of the Buckeyes stuffing Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell. Hankins had another terrific game the contest before, versus UAB, making 10 tackles.
After a dominant first half of the season, Hankins play cooled off some in the second half of 2012, but he still played well, especially against Michigan. Hankins totaled 55 tackles, four tackles for a loss and a sack this year.
Hankins recorded 67 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and three sacks as a sophomore in 2011. He saw a plethora of double-teams as a junior.
Hankins is impossible to move from the point of attack. He is a tremendous run-defender who holds his ground and makes a lot of tackles on runs up the middle. Hankins also pursues well on runs away from him and is able to get in on more tackles than one would think. He has deceptive speed to make plays out of his gap.
The heavy defensive tackle isn't just a big-bodied run-stuffer. Hankins has serious quickness that he uses to fire into his gap and disrupt plays. Hankins' quickness catches many offensive linemen by surprise. He is capable of getting good penetration into the pocket to hurry quarterbacks and take away space for them to step up towards the line of scrimmage. Hankins needs to work on more pass-rushing moves in the NFL. With his strength, a power rip and club move should be effective for him.
NFL coaches are going to love Hankins' versatility. He has lined up all over the defensive line for Ohio State. Hankins has played as a three-technique - on the outside shoulder of the guard; a two-gap defensive tackle technique; a defensive end; and a zero-technique - as a nose tackle above the center. Thus, he could fit in a 4-3 as a defensive tackle, or in a 3-4 defense as a nose tackle or defensive end. Hankins has some real upside.
Player Comparison: Pat Williams It is crazy to think that Williams, a three-time Pro Bowler, went undrafted. Obviousl,y that won't be the case with Hankins as he is a consensus first-round pick.
While Williams went undrafted, he and Hankins have a similar style of play. Williams was a tremendous run-defender who ate up double teams and was impossible to move at the line of scrimmage. Hankins did that at Ohio State and should be able to continue that in the NFL. Williams (6-3, 317) has nearly the same measurements as Hankins.
The big difference between the two is in that Hankins should offer more as a pass-rusher. Like Williams, Hankins won't rack up a big sack total, but he should be able to get some pressure on the quarterback and collapse the pocket. I could see Hankins turning into a defender like Williams in the NFL.
NFL Matches: Oakland, Carolina, Minnesota, Indianapolis, New England
Oakland has aging defensive tackles, and the team needs some young talent on its defensive line. Going to the Raiders in the top 10 is probably the highest that Hankins could hope to go.
The Panthers are a logical fit for Hankins in the top half of the first round. They badly need tackle help, and he would be a good addition to complement defensive end Charles Johnson and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Minnesota needs a young defensive tackle, and if Hankins falls lower in the first round, the Vikings could be a nice fit. The Colts need a disruptive presence on their defensive line, too. Hankins would be a nice fit as a Haloti Ngata-type defender in Chuck Pagano's defense.
New England could target a young defensive tackle. Hankins would be a great scheme fit and understudy to Vince Wilfork.