LB Terrill Hanks, New Mexico St.

6’2” – 242 lbs. – 4.98
Began his career as a 217 pound defensive back, starting eleven games and posting 81-6.5-1.0 with three interceptions. Bulked up to 230 the next season and became a linebacker, recording 103-12.5-2.0 with two interceptions, 110-15.0-7.0 with two interceptions, and 101-9.0-1.0 with a pick six over the past three years. Also has six career forced fumbles. Weakside linebacker who has impressive height and a lithe, strong build; looks more like a strong safety than a linebacker. Often lines up shaded over an opposing slot receiver. Plays with good body control; able to get low and stay light on his feet. Technique in his drops looks good; can cover lots of ground with his shuffle. Gets physical with opposing receivers at the route stem to disrupt timing. Has the athletic ability to turn and run, but typically drops into shallow zones and reads the quarterback’s eyes; responsibilities in coverage seemed a little bit limited. Feel for coverage isn’t quite what you’d expect for a player who spent his first season as a defensive back; plus movement skills don’t always translate into quick-twitch reaction times and gives up separation on breaks. Has a tendency to lose opposing receivers once they get behind him. Good closing speed to blitz when he’s given a clear lane to the quarterback. Run-and-hit player who can pursue ballcarriers to the sidelines and down the field. More of a horizontal, flowing linebacker with good range but who has some inefficiencies in his game. Impressive closing burst and long arms to bring down the ballcarrier in space. Has some short-area quickness to sidestep and avoid blockers, but struggles when he needs to take on blocks and can be knocked off of his spot too easily. Has a little bit of wasted motion to his game, with instincts that lead to too many false steps mitigating some of his athletic gifts. Something of a toolsy prospect with four years of impressive production and plenty of potential to contribute to a modern defense, but whose ability to read keys and anticipate route developments leaves a little bit to be desired, and who may struggle to hold up against pro blockers in the run game. Consequently, may need to begin his career as more of a sub-package and special-teams contributor. Could be relegated to a late-round pick after running very poorly at the Combine.

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