The Pittsburgh Steelers’ have a need at inside linebacker and it is arguably the team’s biggest need. Since Ryan Shazier’s career went up in the air due to a horrific injury, the Steelers haven’t done enough to replace the vastly athletic linebacker. Speed was a huge asset of Shazier’s and today, we dive into another speedy linebacker in Terrill Hanks.
Terrill Hanks #2
New Mexico State
-Senior Bowl Invite
-2018 Butkus Award Watch List
-Converted from Safety to Linebacker
101 total tackles (33 solo), 9 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT for 28 yard TD, 2 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
What’s To Like
Extremely productive, three straight years of 100+ tackles. Possess great size. Has a ton of range: sideline to sideline against the run and depth in pass coverage. Effort is never questioned, has a motor that never stops. Has experience blitzing off the edge, and in gap. Has experience covering slot receivers and tight ends in man coverage. Zone coverage a plus, just needs to refine reading his keys. Quite physical and can pack a punch.
I 👀 you NMST LB Terrill Hanks pic.twitter.com/qEEnmCMyHM
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 23, 2019
Lack of functional strength due to lean frame, can get pushed around and washed out of plays. Has immense trouble disengaging from blocks. Mental processing not up to par due to playing safety prior to linebacker. Tackling needs refined, under and over pursues far too often. Takes himself out of the play by biting on misdirection and play-action. Could get a little too physical in coverage, could be potential flag magnet in NFL. Minor injury concerns, missed 3 games in 2018 due to ankle injury.
Hanks is a raw prospect with a high ceiling and a decently low floor due to his inexperience at the position. The Steelers could use Hanks’ speed and production but should do it with caution. Hanks should be drafted if there is a bridge or stopgap linebacker in place, so Hanks can gain experience and increase his functional strength. The Steelers could really use his speed and coverage ability on third downs. I could see Hanks being the selection in the third round, maybe second if he really blows up the NFL Scouting Combine.
Grade: Round Three (tape)
Games Watched: 2018 Utah State, 2018 Wyoming, 2018, 2018 Minnesota
Credits: Youtube, Sports Reference