Johnathan Hankins “Big Hank” became yet another former Ohio State Buckeye to earn an early selection in the NFL draft—Hankins was selected by the New York Giants in the second-round (49th overall).
As part of an effort to shore up their defense, Big Blue nabbed Hankins early due largely in part to his impressive stature. Boasting a 6-foot-2 frame and weighing in at 320 pounds, Hankins will hope to force the run outside to his talented defensive ends, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.
As a rookie, it is unclear if the Giants plan to use Hankins right away, or have him rotate behind a player like Cullen Jenkins. Hankins is not the only player competing for a starting position with New York this pre-season—the Giants also drafted the former-star defensive lineman in the third round in Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore.
When asked about his landing spot and his transition thus far this off-season, Hankins had nothing but high praise for Big Blue. “Landing with the Giants has just been such a positive step for me…it’s been really good.”
For “Big Hank,” the biggest factor for him to be successful is the ability to learn—both the offense and how to carry himself off the field.
“The meetings [at the NFL Rookie Symposium] have helped a lot with that,” said Hankins in an interview with Pro Player Insiders. “They have been great and I really have learned a lot.”
Blessed with the opportunity to start for a prestigious collegiate football program, Hankins has praised his former college for his NFL-readiness.
“I feel [Ohio State] did a tremendous job,” said Hankins. “With football aspects and off-the-field issues, I felt like they did a great job with that.”
For Hankins, the opportunity to join forces with dominant defensive lineman such as Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck is a dream come true. Though the Ohio State product has played all three positions along the defensive line, his bigger frame is best suited for stuffing the run and occupying blockers for his teammate Jason Pierre-Paul to wreak havoc.
Heading into college, scouts made comparisons to Vernon Gholston, a former college standout for OSU turned NFL bust. Both Gholston and Hankins were three-star college prospects hailing from Michigan that were blessed with size, talent, and athleticism. Both players were enticed to play for the rival Buckeyes over their home-state Wolverines.
Photo Credit and Interview: Jay Talbott
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