The Indianapolis Colts made another splash in free agency this afternoon with the signing of Jonathan Hankins. The deal is for three-years at $30 million with $14 million guaranteed.
Hankins, a second-round pick in 2013, has spent his entire four-year career with the New York Giants. This signing is arguably the biggest for new general manager Chris Ballard.
At 6’3″ and 320 pounds, Hankins will be asked to help anchor the Colts run defense. A unit that has not ranked in the top 15 of the NFL in over a decade.
Hankins arguably had his worst season as a pro last year in New York. According to Pro Football Focus, he posted a player grade of just 47.1. Which put him 72nd among defensive lineman. But those numbers are skewed because the Giants did not use him in the right way.
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Just three years ago Hankins posted a player grade of 85.9 and two years ago he was at 80.9. With the addition of Damon Harrison last season, Hankins saw his role diminished as was constantly played out of place along the defensive line.
What he will bring to the Colts is a solid nose tackle in their 3-4 base scheme. And a quality starter at that. The last two years with David Parry were a struggle, to say the least. And with Parry’s off the field issues, it is likely he is not back with the team.
Last season Hankins started in all 16 games and recorded 43 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Expect those numbers to go up with him anchoring the interior line in 2017.