In an attempt to improve last season's 31st-ranked defense, the Giants drafted Johnathan Hankins 49th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Marc Ross: "Johnathan [Hankins] is a big, wide-bodied space-eater on his side. He is 21 years old. He has a lot of upside. He is not a glamorous type of guy inside, but he does the dirty work that you need in there to occupy people –- hold the point. He is a powerful upper body –- snatch blocker for a 320-pound guy.
"We had him identified as a first-round guy. Some people might have been scared off by his lack of sack production. He just had one. Some people might have questions regarding his stamina. Okay, the guy is 320 pounds and he plays every snap. So if he wears downs at the end of a 60-play game, I could understand that. So you have to look at his body of work. You have to dig deep into who he is. The kid is a great kid. He loves football. He is going to work his butt off. So those concerns that others might have, we didn’t have."
Tom Coughlin: "[Hankins] is primarily a defensive tackle that has outstanding first and second-down run-stopping ability. ... You have to continue to build. We were 31st in the league on defense. ... For me, that is where it starts –- up front. And you have to continue to develop and build. Be strong up there -– competitive."
Jerry Reese: "Big Hank is just a powerful inside presence, played a lot of snaps. You like that about him that he can have the stamina to stay and play. That probably affected his game a little bit on the back end because I think he ran out of gas sometimes when we watched him, but early on when he gets going, he’s a tremendous inside big thick young player against the run game and against the pass.
I wouldn’t call him a pass rusher but he gets some pressure up the middle. He can push the pocket up the middle. He can snap some heads back with his initial contact so he can push that pocket back. We think he can be a great addition, a young player.
Analysis: The Giants are all about being stout and strong up front on the defensive line. That is where everything starts for them on defense. It is why they don't value linebackers as much. It is why the Giants went out and got Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and re-signed Shaun Rogers. And it is why they drafted Hankins. Hankins might not come in and immediately contribute with the depth at defensive tackle (don't forget Marvin Austin and Markus Kuhn). But he could figure in on jumbo run-stopping packages. In 2014, the Giants may really need Hankins with Linval Joseph, Patterson and Rogers all set to become free agents.
Tell us what you think of Big Hank and what you think he can do for the Giants this season?