For the second year in a row, the first Ohio State product to be picked in the NFL draft heard his name in second round.
This time it was Johnathan Hankins, a defensive tackle the New York Giants chose with the 17th pick of the second round (No. 49 overall).
“Johnathan is a big, wide-bodied space-eater on his side,” Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross told reporters in New York of the 6-3, 320-pounder. “He is young. 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.”
A three-star recruit from Detroit Southeastern, Hankins defied expectations by working his way into the rotation as a true freshman in 2010. That came after OSU coaches talked on signing day about his presenting the type of big-bodied defensive lineman they had not had in years but one who would need to spend considerable time reworking that body.
Hankins had 16 tackles as a freshman and was named the team’s top first-year player on defense. He entered the starting lineup as a sophomore and recorded 67 tackles, including 11 for loss while earning the Jack Stephenson Award as the team’s best defensive lineman.
FoxSportsNext named Hankins an All-American last season after he made 55 tackles, including five for loss.
Hankins is the 20th Ohio State player selected by the Giants, a legacy that dates back to 1936 when the franchise picked halfback Dick Heekin in the eighth round of the inaugural NFL draft.
Hankins is the first Buckeye defensive tackle drafted since Quinn Pitcock went to the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the 2007 draft. He is the 29th Buckeye to skip his senior year and be drafted but only the 10th not taken in the first round.
“He is a powerful upper body – snatch blocker for a 320-pound guy,” Ross said. “Plus he plays the whole game, which you rarely see. You see most of these defensive tackles – defensive linemen – rotate in and out every series. This guy plays the whole game and plays with energy. He has got enthusiasm for the game. He is only going to get better.”
The first of Ohio State’s four-man draft contingent in 2012 was offensive tackle Mike Adams, who went to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 56th overall pick.