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How Much Will Johnathan Hankins Help Colts Defense?

Posted Apr 21, 2017

Intro: Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford have taken notice of the new man in the middle this season. What do the defensive linemen think of Johnathan Hankins joining the Colts?


INDIANAPOLIS – Henry Anderson has read the press clippings about the type of player Johnathan Hankins was with the Giants.

Anderson admits he does not know too much about the new free agent signee, tasked with controlling the interior of the defensive line in Indianapolis.

There is one other thing Anderson did notice on Hankins.

That three-year contract Hankins signed, worth reportedly $30 million, tells Anderson he’s got a pretty good player next to him in 2017.

“Obviously, if he’s making that much money…” Anderson says of Hankins, “he’s got to be a pretty good player.”

The comment from Anderson drew a smile, and some laughter in the media room earlier this week.

It was a unique way to describe a new teammate, but is a pretty accurate view to look at things.

If the Colts can get Hankins to play like the highest paid defender on the team, they will have an important piece needed for better defensive play.

The Colts made a run at former Pro Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe earlier this offseason. Poe eventually signed with the Falcons.

Upgrading at the nose tackle position was a clear focus. The 25-year-old Hankins is the man to do that.

“I was all for it,” defensive end Kendall Langford said of the 320-pound Hankins now in the middle.

“We lost Zach Kerr (a restricted free agent that signed with the Broncos) and Art Jones (released last month) and we needed a body in that space. I think we got a great (player) with Hank.”

During Hankins’ visit to the Colts last week, he quickly got the impression of why the Colts were seriously pursuing him.

In the last five years, the Colts have had the following rankings in yards per carry allowed: 31st, 25th, 23rd, 23rd and 30th.

“I found out they were pretty bad, not pretty bad, but struggling against the run,” Hankins said of why he was brought in. “I felt like this was a nice opportunity to come in and join the team.”

At the age of 25, Hankins would appear to be ascending into the prime of his career.

The inability of the Giants to match the same sort of contract the Colts did, given the team’s two cap rooms, diminished even more the longer free agency dragged along.

A month into free agency, the Colts found the centerpiece to their defensive front.

Is pressure there for Hankins in his new home?

He says no, while pointing out his achievable goals of becoming a Pro Bowl/All-Pro player.

“I don’t think I really need to prove anything,” Hankins says. “Just go out there, do what I’ve been doing and do what got me here and that’s stopping the run and protecting the quarterback and being more of a leader.”




The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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