With two of their tackles ailing with foot injuries, the Raiders scoured the free agent wire. As a result, they netted Johnathan Hankins and Clinton McDonald on twin one-year deals. While the contracts do not appear offcial yet, reports surfaced the two would be joining the team with Hankins even getting a spot with a nameplate in the Raiders locker room.
Hankins (6-foot-2, 325 pounds) and McDonald (6-2, 297) add girth and push on the Oakland defensive line. After the team placed starting nose tackle Justin Ellis on injured reserve on Thursday. (foot) Plus, rookie defensive tackle P.J. Hall remains in a walking boot (sprain).
Renowned for his ability to stuff the run. Hankins recently played for Colts. He racked up 44 tackles and two sacks. A switch in defensive philosophy put Hankins on the street. He languished there apparently languished until Wednesday, despite numerous visits.
“I believe I’ll be with a team pretty soon,” Hankins told Sirius XM NFL Radio in late August “I’ve just been really talking to teams and trying to figure out what would be the best fit. Just taking my time with things, and I feel like I’ll be with a team very soon, before the season gets started.”
While Hankins enjoyed a good first year in Indy, he did not upgrade the Colts’ mediocre run defense. Add no practice time and familiarity with Raiders coaches, this remains unclear if Hankins even suits up. Fellow signee McDonald (31 years old) sits in the same boat. However, he might bring some internal knowledge of Denver’s defensive scheme. He spent time with the Broncos this offseason before his release. He is more a pass rusher. McDonald accumulated with 29 tackles and five sacks last season in Tampa Bay .
Hankins can anchor the Raiders line as a run-plugging nose tackle. Also, he owns enough wiggle to make things hairy for quarterbacks. He exploded with seven sacks in 2014, but has just five since then. If Hankins can eat up space, he will be able to open things up for Hall, fellow rookie Maurice Hurst, McDonald and others to make plays