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New York Giants’ DT Johnathan Hankins: “I Can Be a Really Big Factor on Defense”

June 15th, 2013 at 4:00 PM
By Doug Rush

Everyone knows the struggles the New York Giants' defensive line encountered in 2012, as they were unable to generate their usual pass rush, thus leading to a disappointing season and a 31st overall rank on defense.

Since the end of the season, General Manager Jerry Reese addressed the middle of the line with three potentially big moves: landing free agent tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson from their division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, and drafting Johnathan Hankins in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Hankins is a very large individual at 6'3" and 320 pounds; a weight that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer had him slim down to in order to be more effective in college and should translate well into the NFL  to get by opposing offensive lineman. In an interview with Giants.com, Hankins wants to prove to his new team that he's not just a "big guy" and can provide his team with a lot of ability.

“That I was not just a big guy,” the Ohio State product said about what he wanted to prove from day one with the Giants. “I can move, I can pass rush, and I can be a factor out there. With the schemes that they’ve got now, they’ve got me basically playing what I was in college – a little end, a little inside, so pretty much everywhere on the line. I’m just learning all the positions and the plays.”

Hankins currently is behind both Jenkins and Linval Joseph on the depth chart, but with the Giants always rotating lineman to keep fresh bodies in to wear opponents down, Hankins will have an opportunity to bolster a pass rush in need of new blood and fresh legs. While at Ohio State, Hankins was coached by former three-time Super Bowl winning linebacker Mike Vrabel, who played for the New England Patriots and is now the defensive line coach for the Buckeyes.

Giants defensive line coach Robert Nunn is very grateful that Hankins was able to get the type of coaching from a long-time veteran in the NFL, and Hankins is using what he learned from Vrabel and applying it at the professional level.

“It was an honor for [Vrabel] to coach us, seeing him play in the NFL and winning Super Bowls,” Hankins said. “He really brought the physical standpoint to the defensive line. He was very, ‘Never let an offensive lineman dictate or get their hands on you.’ He really stressed more technique and hands, and I’m trying to carry that on here. I know that’s what coach Nunn stresses, too. I’m in a good place.”

The man known as "Big Hank" will be competing with guys like Shaun Rogers, Markus Kuhn, Marvin Austin and Frank Okam, plus Rogers for playing time in 2013 behind the starters of Jenkins and Joseph.

Also…

Tags: Cullen Jenkins, Football, Johnathan Hankins, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Shaun Rogers

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4 Responses to “New York Giants’ DT Johnathan Hankins: “I Can Be a Really Big Factor on Defense””

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    GmenMania says:
    June 14, 2013 at 6:55 PM
    It is bewildering to me to see some of the people on this board and how they underestimate Cruz. For instance:

    GOAT56 says:
    June 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM
    He’s an elite slot and just another player as an outside WR. Randle is a better outside WR. And Murphy is not that much of a drop off from Cruz. One dimensional meaning he only excels in one dimension.

    First off, Randle is a better outside receiver? We would hope that, but he hasn’t done ANYTHING yet. Secondly, Murphy is a huge drop off from Cruz. So far in his career, Murphy has been a scrub who hasn’t had even a semi-good season. So to say that based on OTAs he wouldn’t be much of a drop off is crazy.

    Cruz is much better than he gets credit for. People say he’s one-dimensional, but the fact is that most WRs are. Nicks has never played the slot; how do we know he would be just as good there as he is outside? People need to step back from the current situation with Cruz’s contract when attempting to determine his value and overall ability.

    Dirt says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:51 PM
    Hear hear!

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Cruz is not asking for most WRs money, he’s asking for elite WR money so yes I and others are going to intensely critique what he brings to the table. The slot is easier to get open in which is usually why teams don’t use their best WRs in the slot. The Fitzgerald example is them wanting to get him the ball more so the slot is a way to do so. These positions are not the same even though they are both labeled WRs. Just like center is not LT though they both play the offensive line. Who cares if your LT would be as good as your center playing center?

      Cruz has a lot of value and I never said he doesn’t. I have said that he’s clearly not as valuable as Nicks and he’s not worth the money he’s requesting. I have also said he’s much more easy to replace than Nicks. Sorry if “Cruz fans” can’t see the difference.

      The issue with the Nicks, Cruz situation is not that we couldn’t “afford” to pay Cruz and Nicks close to top dollar. It’s that JR wouldn’t allocate his salary cap to pay both players over their value just to keep them. That’s not how JR works. A bunch of big salaries come off the books but those players who are just about all starters have to be replaced and not everyone can be a draft pick of a low salaried free agent. So while we have room it’s not as much as it appears because we have to replace the players that are leaving even if they are underperforming.

  2.  Michael A says:

    Cruz is being given the short stick…i said it before if the giants had ample cap room, cruz demands would have been met. but due to the many players JPP, Nicks, linval joseph and possibly a few LB’s they will hve to resign they are counting every penny.
    cruz has been as dominant a WR, in moving the chains and collecting first downs and catching Eli’s errant throws (lets all admit Eli put more than a few throws in the wrong spots per game and not to mention those fluttering less than spectacular spirals). i think he is worth every dollar he is demanding, but i also feel Nicks is a priority. Do i feel nicks is that much better than cruz, absolutely not, but he can take the pressure off the other receivers and his catch radius is crazy. but everyone being mad at cruz should stop and do a double take, YOU DON’T RUN THE TEAM JERRY REESE DOES. why are you mad cruz wants what he wants, its only fair if he believes that’s what he’s worth. its like most fans are looking for a reason to hate him or a reasn why he can be replaced. i personally dont think any of the other receivers are ready to step up and assume the role he did, with the same ability and production that cruz has offered. But let the organization determine whats best for the team.

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