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Giants' Johnathan Hankins ranked No. 69 on PFF list of top 101 players

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Hankins is first Giant to make the list.

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Johnathan Hankins forces a Robert Griffin III fumble.
Johnathan Hankins forces a Robert Griffin III fumble.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is the first member of the New York Giants to appear on the Pro Football Focus list of the top 101 players in the NFL. Hankins checked in at No. 69.

Unranked by PFF a year ago, Hankins took over a starting spot when Linval Joseph left via free agency. In his second year, the 2013 second-round pick did not disappoint. He was an undeniable bright spot on a defense that let the Giants down in 2014. Just to be clear, the PFF rankings are based solely on 2014 performance.

PFF wrote:

Didn't just replace Linval Joseph but acted as an improvement with his ability to contribute whatever the offense did. Initially there was a feeling he'd just be a run clogger but as the season went on delivered more and more pressure, with his ability to control blockers plain for all to see. 700 snaps might be the bar going forward for a guy who can impact every down.

Hankins ended the season with a +20.2 PFF grade (+12.1 vs the run, +8.8 in pass rush), the best on the Giants' defense. He played exactly 700 snaps and had seven sacks. Hankins was PFF's seventh-ranked defensive tackle.

Hankins was drafted out of Ohio State primarily as a run-stopper. His development last season as a pass rusher had to be considered a bonus.

The 6-foot-2, 320-pound Hankins is one of the players Steve Spagnuolo will be building his defense around. Are there Pro Bowl appearances in Hankins' future?