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05-09-2011 04:25 PM #1
Leonard Hankerson is going to be a freak of nature!
Mark my words: Leonard Hankerson is going to be a really, really good player. And no, I'm not a Miami fan, so this is not some biased opinion. Take a look at the picture below.
Do you notice anything about him? How about the fact that his hands are the size of his head?!
So what did the scouts say about him?
NFL Draft Breakdown:
Summary: Leonard Hankerson finally lived up to his potential as a senior after being a highly touted recruit out of high school. With an excellent size/speed ratio, Hankerson began his ascent on draft boards after a fairly dominating Senior Bowl week, culminating with 5 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in the game. He possesses great leaping ability and the ability to make the amazing catch. A hard worker, Hankerson has worked diligently to improve his game and has gotten better every single year. NFL teams will love his make-up as he is a high character and mature player who was voted a team captain in 2010. He should be drafted somewhere in the second round and may prove to be one of the more consistent wide receivers in this class.
Route Running/Separation: Hankerson has nice long arms that he uses to create separation against press coverage. He is an inconsistent route runner, but definitely has improved over time. He struggles to get his hips low and explode out of cuts. Hankerson takes time to build up to top speed and is not overly explosive off the snap. He creates separation by being a smart football player and setting up his breaks well. He also has great top-end speed and defenders have to respect his ability to get deep. Hankerson has good lateral agility but just marginal strength. He plays with a great motor and doesn’t cut routes off early. He is a bit of a long-strider. Hankerson creates his best separation on seam routes and drag routes.
Hands: Hankerson has huge hands (10 5/8”) but has struggled with inconsistency catching the ball his whole career. He improved greatly as a senior, so the feeling is he should continue to improve at the next level. When he is struggling, he has the tendency to let the ball get into his body instead of catching it with his hands, and sometimes looks to make a move before the ball has arrived. He has a nice big wingspan which gives him a large catching radius. Hankerson makes a ton of one-handed catches.
After the Catch: Hankerson has good top-end speed and has the ability to run away from defenders. He is not overly evasive or sudden after making a catch, and won’t make defenders miss with sheer quickness. He improved his toughness over time and is willing to try and run through arm tackles. He displays good vision and finds opening in the defense to run to.
Athleticism/Body Control: Hankerson displays great athleticism and body control, especially when leaping high in the air to make a tough catch. He displays good balance and has the ability to shield defenders from the ball. He adjusts well to poorly thrown balls and also improvises well when a play breaks down.
Blocking: Hankerson is a finesse blocker and only displays marginal strength. He is willing to block however, which teams will like, he just needs to get stronger and improve on his technique. He lets the defender get into his body instead of attacking and doesn’t display the type of aggressiveness teams ultimately like to see.
At 6-3 and 205 pounds, Hankerson has the size and strength to be a very productive player in the NFL. He is relatively fast too and can run about a 4.5 40. While there appears to be an obvious top four as far as receivers go in this draft class, Hankerson is slowly sneaking up on players like A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Jon Baldwin and Michael Floyd. If this class was not so stacked at the receiver position, Hankerson would likely be a first round selection. Instead, he should be a steal in the second round.
1/15 Update: With Floyd and Justin Blackmon returning to school, Hankerson may just sneak into the first round. It seems unlikely at this point, but at least Hankerson should be a solid second rounder. Hankerson ended up catching 13 touchdowns during his senior campaign and earning First-Team All-ACC accolades. A trip to the Senior Bowl will start off Hankerson's pre-draft escapade and scouts will like what they see if Hankerson can perform up to his potential.
3/22 Update: Hankerson needed to run a good 40-yard-dash at the NFL combine to prove he had a nice combination of size and speed. He did just that by running a 4.40 40. His speed almost matched fellow receiver Torrey Smith, but Hankerson has a size advantage over the Maryland prospect. It is now emerging as an intriguing battle for the third receiver spot after A.J. Green and Julio Jones. Jonathan Baldwin is the big receiver, Smith the fast receiver and Hankerson the combination of the two.
Separation Skills: Isn’t overly quick or sudden during intermediate routes. Needs to further develop his route running. Sometimes takes too long coming in and out of breaks. Does do a nice job of separating on deep routes. Is a long strider that builds up good speed the further down field he is. Excels at pulling away from defenders once he reaches the third level. Uses his body to position himself and shield defenders from passes. Is more effective running drags, in cuts, and seam routes, as oppose to comebacks and jerk routes.
Ball Skills: Started his college career with poor-average ball skills. Has continued to work on his focus and hands, and is one of the most improved players in the nation. Uses every inch of his frame and his large wing span to high point the ball. Attacks the ball and uses his strong hands to pluck it from the sky. Is a pure hands catcher. Does a nice job at having his hands spread and in the ready position before the ball arrives. Focus has improved over the years. Catches the easy balls as well as the hard ones. Has a knack for making one handed catches. Knows how to use his body to his advantage. Boxes out defenders like how a basketball player would box out for a rebound. Has good balance and body control. Knows how to adjust to poorly thrown balls.
Big play ability: Starts off slow, but has good top end speed because of his long stride. Is a huge threat deep down the field. Is a smooth runner that can lull defenders to sleep. Does well with the ball in his hands. Isn’t very elusive or quick, but can pick up yards after the catch by using his size and strength. Requires a lot of attention in the redzone.
Competitiveness/ Toughness: Competes for every ball. Never concedes a pass to a defender. Not afraid to go over the middle and make a play. Doesn’t shy away from contact after the catch.
Intangibles: 2010 All-ACC 1st Team. Has been mentored by some of the best. All-Pro receiver, Cris Carter was his high school receivers coach. Works out with NFL great Mark Duper during the offseason. Mature young man. Teammates call him “Old Man”. Juggles the responsibilities of being a student athlete and father of two.
Overall Stock: Leonard Hankerson has shown great discipline and work ethic during his tenure at Miami. He was highly touted out of high school, and things didn’t start off so well in college. He had a difficult time focusing, often dropping easy balls. It took him some time to adjust to the college game. He eventually buckled down and worked his butt off to become one of the top receivers in the nation in 2010. Hankerson has the size, hands, and big play ability to be a solid receiver in the NFL. At his size, he is very versatile. He has experience playing outside the hashes and in the slot. With his huge frame, he has proven to be quite dangerous in the slot. He knows how to sit in empty zones and work the seams, similar to Saints receiver, Marques Colston. The team that drafts him can line him up all over the field to create mismatches. Hankerson isn’t in the same class as AJ Green and Julio Jones, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a quality receiver. With further development, he can become a bonafide number one receiver. Right now, he is a solid number two. Look for Hankerson to come off the board in round two.
NFL Comparisons: Braylon Edwards and Marques ColstonWhat about swagger? Here is what he had to say about himself according to the National Football Post:
“I know I’m better than each one of those guys that was drafted before me,” Hankerson told The Sports Junkies this morning on 106.7 The Fan, according to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “Hey, it’s over with now. I’m a Washington Redskin. I can’t do anything about it. Only thing that matters is what I do after the draft, so I’m looking forward to getting on the field with my new teammates, getting to meet my coaches and just having fun with them and proving (it) to everyone.”
"Of course," he told the hosts. "I wouldn't say anything different. I think I'm the best receiver in the draft. Of course I do. I feel like I can make plays just like each and every other receivers do. I feel like I can block, run routes and go up and get the ball. I can make plays. I broke every single-season receiving record [at Miami] this year. I feel like I can do it all. I feel like I can be dependable. I feel like I can be someone the team can lean on to make plays for the team and do whatever it takes."
What about credentials? Yeah, he's got them.
What about work ethic? Well according to his facebook page, he's already running drills by himself despite his inability to do so at Redskins facilities. Check out this video :
Here is Hankerson in college being tutored by legendary NFL WR Mark Duper to reduce dropped balls:
What about character? Scouts have nearly unanimously praised his character. Shanahan clearly set out to draft only high character guys this season and Hankerson appears to be no different.
What about insane highlight video set to heart-pumping music? Check.
WARNING: Songs containEexpletives...
This guy looks like a 'plucker' who can adjust to bad throws to catch the ball away from his body. He's a 4-year guy (unlike Devin Thomas who was a 1-year wonder) who improved dramatically every year. Some optimistic scouts are comparing him to Andre Johnson or Sidney Rice:
So far, the primary NFL comp for Hankerson seems to be Andre Johnson(notes), but at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, he doesn't quite have that kind of size. The other comp I've seen is Sidney Rice(notes), but Hankerson isn't quite that explosive. What he does possess is a great overall understanding of how to play the receiver position; the little things and intangibles which make receivers great.
The fact that he's already developed so much as a player in the last few seasons, and done so in an offense under construction during his time there, indicates that he'll excel at the NFL level. In the right kind of system (he seems the ideal outside guy in an offense that doesn't demand specific receiver speed), he could have multiple 1,000-yard seasons in his future.
05-17-2011 02:04 PM #2
More on Hankerson--Drew Rosenhaus: "Congratulations Redskins. You got the steal of the draft."
Big words from a big douche. Still good to hear though. And no, Rosenhaus does not represent Hankerson. If his opinion doesn't convince you that Hankerson is going to be great, then you're probably pretty smart. However, he is going to be great!
Last edited by JDubs; 05-17-2011 at 02:09 PM.
06-21-2011 02:37 PM #3
Hankerson at the Rookie Photoshoot
[Credit to ExtremeSkins]
09-28-2011 12:17 PM #4
Bump. Told ya so!
09-28-2011 12:25 PM #5
09-28-2011 12:31 PM #6
09-28-2011 12:48 PM #7
I'd like to know if being blocked by talent is the only reason Hankerson can't crack the roster or if he is still struggling in practice. I'd like to think he is at least making progress, but I really have no proof that he is.
09-28-2011 12:54 PM #8
I'm certain that he's in a better situation, development wise, than thomas or Kelly.
As far as the redzone goes, it's not like they only have moss and randel el these days. Put in a package of gaffney, Davis, and Paul, and you'll get a mismatch.
09-28-2011 01:00 PM #9
I was also intrigued by using Cooley more out of the backfield with Davis lined up at TE. They have the pieces (I think) to be dangerous in the red zone. They just need to figure out what packages will work.
That being said, I still think Hankerson adds a degree of athleticism and size that would be attractive. But, I'm basing this solely off of what I saw while he was on Nevin Shapiro's payroll.
10-23-2011 12:16 PM #10
Hank Time is activated today for the first time. Stallworth inactive.
10-23-2011 12:35 PM #11
11-22-2011 05:14 AM #12
IMO, the most depressing part of the season. Young WR with a ton of potential has a horrible pre-season, works hard, gets some game time and has a breakout game and then gets hurt and is done for the rest of the season. I was excited about Hankerson and my buddy and I were excited to see that game a couple weeks ago where he came out of nowhere to pick up over 100 yards.
Hopefully he can pick up where he left off in 2012.
11-22-2011 05:47 PM #13
11-29-2011 02:58 PM #14
Please say I included, "barring injury" in my OP...........nope. Doh. At least he flashed a glimpse of some serious talent before his injury. Hopefully he can recover completely and pick up where he left off.