Position: Outside linebacker
Weight: 242 pounds
School: New Mexico State Aggies
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.98 seconds
Bench press: 21 reps
Vertical jump: 35.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 10 inches
Terrill Hanks 2019 NFL Draft Profile
South Florida has certainly established itself as one of the most prolific recruiting hotbeds in the nation. For all the four and five-star talents from this region available to college programs, there are plenty of potential diamonds in the rough who get overlooked. Terrill Hanks fits into the latter profile. A two-star prospect according to Rivals who received scholarship offers from New Mexico State and Appalachian State only, the product of La Salle High ultimately moved out to Las Cruces for his college ball.
Hanks bulked up and moved into the second level of the defense after playing safety in high school. He started 11 of 12 games as a true freshman, collecting 81 tackles including 6.5 that went for a loss. The ball skills he acquired while playing safety showed up as well, as he totaled three interceptions which were tied for the team lead. As a sophomore, he made a further 11 starts and was one of three Aggies to finish the season with 100+ tackles. He added 12.5 tackles for loss which led the team and was tied for sixth among Sun Belt players.
Hanks continued his uphill ascent with respect to his pro viability in 2017. His 111 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, six pass breakups, and three forced fumbles were all career-highs and earned him honorable mention all-Sun Belt recognition. Hanks battled an ankle injury during his senior year which limited him to nine starts. But he still managed his third straight season of 100+ stops while also registering 8.5 TFLs, two passes defended, and an interception.
- background as a safety shows with plus instincts in coverage;
- a downhill attacker who delivers forceful blows;
- able to mix it up with tight ends down the seams;
- takes good angles to gaps on inside stunt moves;
- showed an acumen for stripping runners of the football;
- production suggests lockdown wrap-up tackling ability;
- displayed versatility and has value in both 3-4 and 4-3 alignments;
- a determined competitor who regularly plays to the whistle.
- a lethargic initial burst and acceleration to full speed;
- somewhat segmented as a mover in open space;
- sometimes overextends himself which forces him to miss run fits;
- doesn’t drop his weight enough when turning the corner;
- struggles to disengage blockers and attack gap-shooting ball-carriers;
- lacks play strength when trying to bull rush tackles;
- tackle numbers are a bit inflated due to an overly large number of assists;
- ran slowest 40 among linebackers at the Combine.
NFL Comparison: Samson Ebukam
Projection: Fourth to fifth round
Hanks decided to play collegiately at a smaller school to become an instant contributor and it paid off for him. He was a consistent four-year player who made 43 starts during his college career. He put on 40 pounds of muscle and developed into a physical linebacker who brought a phenomenal work rate to the field. He’s not only a solid wrap-up tackler but an above average playmaker who consistently forced fumbles and picked off opposing quarterbacks.
Where Hanks needs to improve perhaps the most is playing with better body control. He oftentimes flows too far to the outside which precludes him from hitting gaps consistently. There’s not a particularly impressive amount of raw and natural athleticism that shows on tape and some of his Combine numbers are underwhelming. His path to the quarterback as a pass rusher usually involves elusiveness in space rather than directly engaging blockers and winning with power.
Hanks’ ceiling is certainly that of a starting-caliber player. But getting there is contingent on him playing with more control and adding more projection of strength to his game. He flew under the radar coming out of high school and it’s possible we could be seeing a repeat occurrence heading into the draft. Because the best-case scenario for Hanks is that he plays the part of a late-round steal at the next level.