DT Johnathan Hankins Ready To Lead Raiders Rush Defense Again in 2020

As Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins enters his eighth NFL season, he will have far more assistance to perform at a high level as a run defender compared to previous years.

The Raiders interior defensive line has a new look in 2020. The team acquired three key components from the Dallas Cowboys to help shore up the middle of the defensive front. More specifically, defensive tackles Maliek Collins and Daniel Ross bring schematic experience and new blood to the position. Additionally, new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will provide a vast knowledge of techniques and coaching experience to help propel the entire defensive line.

Johnathan Hankins was an underrated defender for the Raiders in 2019

The Raiders defense had a dreadful year in 2019. The pass defense was abysmal. According to Sharp Football Stats, the Raiders ranked 31st in explosive pass plays allowed (15 yards or more). The rush defense wasn’t much better, as they ranked 22nd in that category (10 yards or more). However, in terms of individual run defense, Hankins proved to be a consistent asset every week.

In addition, Hankins ranked in the top 20 of interior defensive linemen as a run defender according to Pro Football Focus. Similarly, he frequently delivered when the Silver and Black’s defense needed a stop in short-yardage situations last season.

Above all, Johnathan will be ready to be a major contributor in Las Vegas yet again in 2020.

Related: Will Daniel Ross Take P.J. Hall’s Place as Raiders Fourth Defensive Tackle?

2020 Expectations

As the Raiders transition to Las Vegas, there has been a wide variety of anticipation surrounding the team. However, Hankins isn’t often in those discussions. Despite the lack of media attention, it hasn’t stopped the veteran from putting in work this offseason.

On the other hand, head coach Jon Gruden spoke up for the nose tackle in a press conference last Thursday.

“Hankins is a guy nobody’s talking about. He’s really been a good player for us. He’s in great shape and bought into the Marinelli factor.”

For Hankins, the Silver and Black are more than ready to see him contribute more as a pass rusher as seen below.

Ideally, Marinelli will be able to maximize his potential as a pass rusher this season. In conclusion, Hankins has the ability to have an even larger impact on the interior of the Silver and Black’s defense in 2020.

You May Also Like: DT Maliek Collins Brings Intangible Value to Raiders Defensive Line

Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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