2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Terrill Hanks
School: New Mexico State University
Weight: 237 pounds
Round Projection: 3-5
In the modern game, coaches always seek to convert players to new positions. When Hanks arrives in Las Cruces, the Aggies deployed him as a safety. Hanks’ speed is predicated upon long strides mixed that twitchy explosion. As a converted safety, Hanks streaks across the screen. Despite outgrowing the position, Hanks maintained his speed. NMSU deployed him to fill and stay with backs and receivers. Although Hanks notched ten sacks to this point, he relies on the first step to win versus tackles.
When trailing in coverage, Hanks slows effortlessly into a backpedal. Over either shoulder, he will glide in that direction without losing stride or concentration. On the other hand, Hanks needs to fine-tune his angle of pursuit, once he widens, the coverage improves.
For a safety, Hanks displayed average skills, despite tallying three interceptions. However, the shift to linebacker actually improved his dexterity. Granted, linebackers are not known for the ability to make plays on the ball. However, Hanks’ eight interceptions and thirteen deflected passes scream three-down linebacker.
Due to his speed, Hanks appears always around the ball. From chasing the play to playing downhill, expect him to make stops. Depending on target and angle, tacklers should adjust. Hanks will slightly change his approach. When right, he strikes with force, driving through the target. Forcing seven fumbles serves as testament. On the other hand, Hanks needs to be more consistent in his tackle. Again, nothing that a great position coach will not iron out.
Playing in the AFC West, the Raiders lag far behind in linebacker coverage. Tahir Whitehead and whichever two line up next to him cannot stay with tight ends, backs, or the occasional receiver. Travis Kelce feasts off poor coverage, giving the Raiders fits. In drafting Hanks, he could fit in at outside linebacker, with the ability to excel in base and subpackages. Yet, if Oakland drafts primarily defense early, a player with Hanks’ skillset still merits consideration. The Raiders lack quality depth all over the defense. As a result, Hanks could play his trade on special teams while awaiting his chance. If the Raiders surprise the world and pick a couple offensive players, Hanks becomes an intriguing option on the third say. In reality, he would step on to the team with the ability to start.