On Thursday night, the New York Giants added a big piece to their aging offensive line with first-round pick Justin Pugh. On Friday night, in the second round of the NFL draft, they did the same for their defensive line, selecting Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins with the 17th pick of the round (49th overall).
Hankins is a run-stuffing defensive tackle who likely projects as a rotational player of the kind the Giants like to use on the interior of their defensive line. They are undergoing a transition of sorts in there, as Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard have left and been replaced by guys like Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson. Linval Joseph remains as a reliable performer at defensive tackle, and they brought back Shaun Rogers and still like Markus Kuhn, so Hankins joins a deep stable of interior defensive linemen in New York. As is the case with the first-rounder Pugh, this is a guy who could contribute right away if he shows enough in the offseason and training camp but doesn't have to. If he needs time to develop in their system, they have enough bodies at his position to allow him that.
Giants owner John Mara said earlier in this offseason that the team needed to get tougher and meaner on both lines, and with their first two picks of this year's draft, they appear to be paying attention to their owner's mandate.