Colts 2017 Free Agent Class Grade Series: Johnathan Hankins
As the 2017 season winds to a close, this series will be taking a look at how the off-season acquisitions did in their first season with the Colts. First up: Johnathan Hankins
The Colts had a lot of roster turnover in the off-season. The unit with the most changes was the defense. New GM Chris Ballard re-made the defensive line completely, with the most notable signing being Johnathan Hankins, a defensive end in his 5th season out of Ohio State.
Hankins signed a 3 year $30 million deal to come to Indianapolis and help a porous defensive line. That was the most money the Colts spent on a single player in free agency. But was he worth the money?
Hankins has good size for a 3 technique defensive end, even though he played nose tackle with the Giants. He is smart, has quick lateral movement, and can get off blocks well. He does a good job keeping containment on the outside and forcing running backs to cut back to the middle.
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His versatility is the main reason the Colts signed him. He not only is a good run stopper, but he can get to the quarterback as well. While his stats won’t necessarily show this, he typically forces quarterbacks to maneuver around in the pocket uncomfortably.
The defensive unit isn’t very good this year, and that has been well chronicled. They are a little better against the run this year, but their pass rush has been underwhelming. If there is one thing that Hankins can work on for next season, it is finishing plays on the pass rush.
Hankins needs to accumulate more sacks if the Colts want to get where they want to be. If Hankins can get his hands on the quarterback more, then that will improve the pass defense enough to help out the offense.