Leonard Hankerson finally lived up to his potential as a senior after being a highly touted recruit out of high school. With an excellent size/speed ratio, Hankerson began his ascent on draft boards after a fairly dominating Senior Bowl week, culminating with 5 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in the game. He possesses great leaping ability and the ability to make the amazing catch. A hard worker, Hankerson has worked diligently to improve his game and has gotten better every single year. NFL teams will love his make-up as he is a high character and mature player who was voted a team captain in 2010. He should be drafted somewhere in the second round and may prove to be one of the more consistent wide receivers in this class.
Hankerson has nice long arms that he uses to create separation against press coverage. He is an inconsistent route runner, but definitely has improved over time. He struggles to get his hips low and explode out of cuts. Hankerson takes time to build up to top speed and is not overly explosive off the snap. He creates separation by being a smart football player and setting up his breaks well. He also has great top-end speed and defenders have to respect his ability to get deep. Hankerson has good lateral agility but just marginal strength. He plays with a great motor and doesn’t cut routes off early. He is a bit of a long-strider. Hankerson creates his best separation on seam routes and drag routes.
Hankerson has huge hands (10 5/8”) but has struggled with inconsistency catching the ball his whole career. He improved greatly as a senior, so the feeling is he should continue to improve at the next level. When he is struggling, he has the tendency to let the ball get into his body instead of catching it with his hands, and sometimes looks to make a move before the ball has arrived. He has a nice big wingspan which gives him a large catching radius. Hankerson makes a ton of one-handed catches.
After the Catch
Hankerson has good top-end speed and has the ability to run away from defenders. He is not overly evasive or sudden after making a catch, and won’t make defenders miss with sheer quickness. He improved his toughness over time and is willing to try and run through arm tackles. He displays good vision and finds opening in the defense to run to.
Hankerson displays great athleticism and body control, especially when leaping high in the air to make a tough catch. He displays good balance and has the ability to shield defenders from the ball. He adjusts well to poorly thrown balls and also improvises well when a play breaks down.
Hankerson is a finesse blocker and only displays marginal strength. He is willing to block however, which teams will like, he just needs to get stronger and improve on his technique. He lets the defender get into his body instead of attacking and doesn’t display the type of aggressiveness teams ultimately like to see.
In high school, Hankerson also played basketball and ran track. His high school wide receivers coach happened to be former NFL wide receiver, and 8-time Pro Bowler, Cris Carter, and Hankerson also enlisted the help of former Miami Dolphins star Mark Duper to help him improve his route running.
2010: Played in 13 games with 11 starts.
2009: Played in 13 games with 12 starts.
2008: Played in 8 games with 2 starts.
2007: Played in 7 games with 2 starts.
Hankerson is a sports administration major.
Awards & Honors
2010: Named SI.com All-American honorable mention, All-ACC First-Team, won the Jack Harding Award as the Miami team MVP, won the College Football Performance Awards Elite Wide Receiver Trophy.
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