Latest Seahawks free agent signing might be past his sell-by date

Seattle needed defensive line help but maybe not this player.

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The Seattle Seahawks' defense should be better in 2024. Even if the players had remained the same, one should assume that there was a coaching chain in Seattle for a reason. Pete Carroll seemed incapable of fixing whatever was ailing the team, maybe leaving a bit too much up to his defensive coordinator, Clint Hurtt. That will not be the case under new head coach Mike Macdonald who will be fully in control of the defense.

But Macdonald does have a DC, of course. That is Aden Durden. Durden is more of a DC in title only; Macdonald will be making the defensive play calls. Durden's job will be to make sure the defense understands what the game plan is and make sure that the plan is perfected.

But Durden might also be a reason Seattle made their most recent free agent signing. Before coming to Seattle, Durden was the defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys. One of his players was veteran defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. Hankins is certainly big enough to play in the interior of the defensive line at 6'3" and 320 pounds but he also comes with some caveats.

Johnathan Hankins is a very iffy signing for the Seattle Seahawks

He will be 32 years old during the 2024 season. That is not ancient for a human but someone who has played as many snaps as he has during his career, he might play older than he is. Hankins has been in the NFL since 2013 and has remained fairly healthy not missing more than three games in any season except for the seven he missed in 2022.

But while he has stayed healthy, he has certainly digressed in overall efficiency. He is a pure two-down player at this point in his career and never has been an overly productive pass rusher. He had 7 sacks in his second year in the league (2014) but only has 17.5 sacks in his 11-season career.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Hankins has a run defense grade of 49.9 or lower in each of the last three years. That would indicate that the one reason Hankins should be playing in the NFL - stopping the run - he is not very good at it anymore. He used to excel at stuffing the run but hasn't been quite as efficient since 2017.

Hopefully, Hankins can come in and be a good rotational player. But 12s likely have PTSD from how bad the run defense has been over the last few years. If Hankins plays and doesn't do his job, Seahawks fans are going to notice.

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