Giants add beef to defense with Hankins, Moore

Johnathan Hankins, right, adds serious size to the Giants' defensive line. Credit: Getty Images
Johnathan Hankins, right, adds serious size to the Giants’ defensive line.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants made a big splash in every sense of the word with their second-round pick, as they selected defensive tackle John Hankins of Ohio State.

Hankins is 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds and is the typical two-gap run-stuffing tackle who usually occupies two blockers.

New York is taking its nickname to heart as Hankins joins Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, Shaun Rogers, Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin and Markus Kuhn in the defensive tackle rotation.

It’s unlikely Hankins will crack the starting rotation, but he’ll certainly be a part of the rotation — providing the gargantuan lineman stays in shape, because that’s about the only knock on the former Buckeye star.

Marc Ross, who is in his seventh season as the Giants’ director of college scouting, is in charge of the franchise’s college scouting department and has a large say in the team’s draft picks, and he’s confident that none of the criticism about Hankins will stick during his time in New York.

“We had him identified as a first-round guy. This is not just a raw guy. This guy knows how to play football,” said Ross, adding the massive Hankins isn’t just a plodder. “You see he can be more of the athletic quick edge move kind of guys, [which] makes this guy more of a rarity. … Plus, he does the dirty work [because] he is a wide body.”

Ross did quickly admit Hankins “probably could lose a few pounds” but then predicted “the sky is the limit for him [because] he is a big, wide-bodied presence and a three-down player.”

The Giants will need Hankins’s girth because they surrendered 129.1 rush yards per game last season, and have been searching for a big-bodied defensive tackle to alleviate some pressure on edge guys Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck.

Ross said Hankins — and yesterday’s first-round pick Justin Pugh (6-foot-4, 310 pounds) — will add a nice element of toughness and physicality for Big Blue on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

“We wanted to get bigger and more physical up front and we really think we’ve done that with these first two picks,” Ross said.

Big Blue notes …

» The Giants also got great value in the third round by selecting pass-rush defensive end Damontre Moore of Texas A&M. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder was a supreme sack artist in college — playing opposite Broncos All-Pro linebacker Von Miller in college. Moore lasted until the third round, however, because he didn’t test well at the NFL Combine or his Pro Day, when he only benched pressed 225 pounds 12 times (by comparison most quarterbacks can surpass that amount) and ran a pedestrian 4.95 seconds in the 40-yard dash. But judging by the flier Giants general manager Jerry Reese took on Moore, he valued the stellar game tape and Moore’s measurables over testing.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



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