Pro Football Focus picked the little known player they expect to make the biggest impact this season on the Giants: defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
PFF had this to say about Hankins (PFF, June 10):
All the scouting reports about Hankins’ excellent run defense coming out of Ohio State held true. He was so quick, asking an offensive lineman to reach block him was asking to lose. With 4:08 left in the first quarter against the Seahawks, left guard James Carpenter attempted such a move against the rookie, who merely dodged him and enveloped Marshawn Lynch in the hole. But being so large, Hankins also was an immovable object at the point of attack. At the 7:49 mark of the second quarter against the Lions, he held his ground against a double-team and pounced in for the tackle once one blocker left him. He also proved to be an excellent finisher, missing just one tackle all season.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
A very adroit selection by PFF. The Giants used a second round pick on Hankins last season and he did not disappoint in the small sample of opportunities he was afforded. In retrospect, he should have played more but the Giants were stopping the run fairly well with the players they had. With Linval Joseph gone, there’s nothing stopping Hankins from stepping into the role.
Hankins will likely start for the Giants this season along with Cullen Jenkins in the DT rotation. There is a lot of competition now in the group: Mike Patterson is back, Markus Kuhn is healthy and rookies Jay Bromley and Kelcy Quarles will figure into the mix as well.
Last year, after the Giants selected Hankins in Round Two, Mike Mayock had this to say: “”That’s a solid pick. More movement kind of guys. What you’re getting is a two-down run stopper.”
He’s right. Hankins is relentless against the run and tough to move in short yardage defense. He probably won’t be on the field for all three downs, but he can do it.