COLUMBUS, Ohio -- His stock may have fallen in recent weeks, but former Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins' dreams came true on Friday, when he was selected by the New York Giants in the second round (49th overall) of the NFL Draft.
Hankins, who forwent his senior year of eligibility to enter this year's draft, was initially projected to be a first rounder when he left school early, but saw his draft value fall amidst questions of his consistency and conditioning.
"He wasn't as dominant this year as he was two years ago," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. said of Hankins. "But he's got a lot of ability."
In 2011, as a sophomore, Hankins started in all 13 of the Buckeyes' games, where the Dearborn Heights, Mich. native recorded 67 tackles, including 11 for a loss, and three sacks. With more attention being paid to him in his junior season, Hankins tallied 55 tackles, including four for a loss and one sack in 2012.
Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell disagreed with the notion that the Buckeyes' man in the middle underperformed during his final season in Columbus.
"I think John did everything we asked him to do. And everything that we would've expected him to do. I think the reality is that when they test you, and they do those things, and they start to dig, they start to say, 'Well is this guy a four-down guy? Is he a three-down guy? Is he a two-down guy? And what is he?' And I think that's what they still have some questions about," Fickell said. "To me, that kid's got all the intangibles. He's not scratched the surface on how good he can be, because physically, he's still a young kid."
Hankins came to Ohio State in 2010 as a three-star prospect from Southeastern high school. For his college career, he recorded 138 total tackles -- 16.5 of which came for a loss -- and five sacks. Prior to 2012, the first-team All-Big Ten selection was named to watch lists for the Lombardi, Outland, Bednarik and Nagurski awards.