The NFL Draft profile for Matt Hankins feels like one that could result in a potential steal. Hankins was in the Hawkeye football program for five seasons. He developed into one of the premier cornerbacks in Phil Parker’s secondary after seeing the field almost immediately. A late season injury last year sidelined him for the last month of the 2021 season. However, Hankins has shown he has the tangible skills to make an impact at the next level.
Iowa NFL Draft Profile: Matt Hankins
As a recruit, Hankins was a three-star cornerback out of Marcus High School in Texas. He received several offers from schools including Michigan, Colorado, and Houston. Hankins enrolled at Iowa in the 2017 class, and made an immediate impact on defense. As a true freshman, he played in nine games and started the final two games of the year. His junior season in 2019 was one of his best in a Hawkeye uniform. Hankins recorded 58 total tackles, two interceptions, and seven pass breakups. He continued to play at a high level through his final two years at Iowa, ultimately earning the role of permanent team captain in 2021. Following the season, Hankins was named a second-team All American and finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award alongside his teammate Riley Moss.
Hankins has shown a keen ability to trust his instincts and react to the offense. His play recognition and route anticipation made him one of the better cornerbacks in the conference this past season, despite his late-season injury. He maintains outside leverage in zone coverage while keeping his eyes focused on the football. Hankins is comparable to Byron Murphy of the Arizona Cardinals. Murphy played a similar, zone-style defense in college, and excelled in his ball skills in zone coverage at Washington.
Hankins will likely be a steal in the fourth to the seventh round of this year’s NFL Draft. His injury at the end of the year might have reduced his draft stock slightly, but his tangibles can make him an everyday player on an NFL roster.