BREAKOUT: Leonard Hankerson Behind the Numbers

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BREAKOUT: Leonard Hankerson Behind the Numbers

Postby The Hogster » Thu May 16, 2013 10:38 am

The numbers say that Hankerson is primed for a breakout season, if you can even call it that. Last year he was 2nd behind Morgan in total snaps as a wide receiver with 589, which was 125 more snaps than Moss.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hankerson ranked 15th in the NFL with 45% of his targets going for 1st Downs or Touchdowns. He also ranked 13th in the NFL in PFF's Wide Receiver Rating (119.0). The knock on Hankerson has been that he drops the ball far too often to be a consistent receiver. However, PFF attributed only 3 drops against Hankerson last year which is better than Garcon (5), Moss (6), and Morgan (7).

This article breaks down why Leonard Hankerson could be on the cusp of a breakout if he simply gets more opportunity and improves his weaknesses. Now would be a great time.

2012 Stats:

38 Receptions, 543 Yards, 3 Touchdowns.
2 Rushes, 5 Yards.

Overview

When the Redskins drafted Leonard Hankerson with their 3rd Round selection in the 2011 Draft, the fanbase embraced the pick. And why not? He did break Michael Irivin's single season touchdown record at 'The U.' Hankerson was supposed to be what we had hoped Malcolm Kelly and his "snake-bitten" self would become. A big receiver that somehow ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine (same time as Aldrick Robinson); our very own Brandon Marshall (who Shanahan had drafted in Denver with a 4th Round selection).

Fast-forward two years later and many of us are still waiting for Hankerson to take that leap. After a first-year off-season that was limited due to the NFL lockout and a season that was cut short by a torn labrum and subluxation of his hip, Hankerson entered the 2012 season as the 4th wide receiver on the depth chart. Making the most of the Pierre Garcon injury, Hankerson played in every game last season, starting in 5 out of the 16. He finished the season with just 90 yards less than Garcon and 30 yards less than Santana Moss. He bested "starting" receiver Josh Morgan in yards and touchdowns, even though Morgan had more targets (69) than Hankerson (55).

Quietly, Hankerson became an integral part of Washington's offense in 2012. He finished 2nd behind Morgan in total snaps as a wide receiver with 589, which was 125 more snaps than Moss. According to Pro Football Focus, Hankerson ranked 15th in the NFL with 45% of his targets going for 1st Downs or Touchdowns. He also ranked 13th in the NFL in PFF's Wide Receiver Rating (119.0). The knock on Hankerson has been that he drops the ball far too often to be a consistent receiver. However, PFF attributed only 3 drops against Hankerson last year which is better than Garcon (5), Moss (6), and Morgan (7).

With all that said, Hankerson still has a lot of room for improvement and will need to show the coaching staff that he's ready to take on an expanded role entering his 3rd year.

Improvements for 2013:

YAC, YAC, YAC: Yards After Catch has been a point of emphasis for Mike Shanahan. It is why he was so enamored with Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan last off-season. It is why he spent a 3rd Round pick on Jordan Reed this off-season. With Hankerson's size and (concealed) speed, he has to be able to take the ball up-field more consistently. He ranked 4th in YAC among Redskins wide receivers in 2012. It starts with catching the ball cleanly and then maintaining balance after the catch. Far too often did we see him either bobble the ball initially, stumble into a tackle, or fall into a catch. If he gets back to these basics the yards will come in bunches.

Run Blocking: Hankerson provides no versatility when it comes to special teams. So, he will have to step up in run blocking to get an edge. Hankerson had a higher percentage of snaps go for rushing plays than Garcon, Morgan, and Moss. However, he ranked worst in PFF's run blocking ratings among them all. He just didn't display the tenacity of Garcon and Moss, and was no where close to Morgan's, almost elite, ability to block. Aggressiveness is the key. Maybe a small scuffle with a rookie in camp could go a long way for him.

Be confident down the middle: Hankerson needs to make the middle of the field his home. The read-option helps in opening up holes in the middle. However, two of Hankerson's three drops last year came in the middle of the field and I can remember at least one other instance where Hankerson did a drag across the middle and failed to locate the ball as it went past him. Becoming comfortable with quick hitting slants and drags to the middle will be key for his development.

Bottom Line:

Hankerson is a relative lock to make the team because of his upside. Hankerson will enter OTA's and training camp with the goal of winning the starting 'Z' receiver spot that Josh Morgan currently occupies. Last year the Redskins brought in similarly built Dezmon Briscoe and this year some are hoping Lance Lewis is more than a camp body. The fact remains that snaps and targets should be harder to come by this year with Fred Davis, Jordan Reed, and a 3rd down RB added to the offensive arsenal. It's a make or break off-season for Hankerson's Redskins career. Let's hope he rises to the occasion.


http://www.hogshaven.com/2013/5/16/4318026/redskins-offensive-improvements-leonard-hankerson
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Postby langleyparkjoe » Thu May 16, 2013 11:19 am

He definitely improved from when I said cut him, I'll give him that.
Hopefully he'll keep getting better and work on those drops which I'm sure he's already been working on.
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Re: BREAKOUT: Leonard Hankerson Behind the Numbers

Postby Redskin in Canada » Thu May 16, 2013 11:33 am

Fast-forward two years later and many of us are still waiting for Hankerson to take that leap.

I like an optimistic and hopeful assessment and prediction but ...

I will say it again: This is his make or break year. If he does not improve across the board, next year's rookies will put a lot of pressure on his roster spot.

This year we had other more pressing needs in the secondary and for good RBs to support Alfred Morris. Team is looking at the WR position next together with an eye on RT on the OL.

I wouldnot be surprised if more WR competition is brought in for OTAs and Training Camp.

Like most, I am hoping for the best for Hank.
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Re: BREAKOUT: Leonard Hankerson Behind the Numbers

Postby 1niksder » Thu May 16, 2013 1:01 pm

Redskin in Canada wrote:
Fast-forward two years later and many of us are still waiting for Hankerson to take that leap.

I like an optimistic and hopeful assessment and prediction but ...

I will say it again: This is his make or break year. If he does not improve across the board, next year's rookies will put a lot of pressure on his roster spot.

This year we had other more pressing needs in the secondary and for good RBs to support Alfred Morris. Team is looking at the WR position next together with an eye on RT on the OL.

I wouldnot be surprised if more WR competition is brought in for OTAs and Training Camp.

Like most, I am hoping for the best for Hank.


They raved about Lance Lewis (whom went undrafted out of East Carolina in 2012, joined the Redskins for training camp, but suffered an injury and reached an injury settlement) last off-season, and was suppose to push Briscoe and Hankerson for a roster spot... he took part in this year's rookie camp and was signed this week.
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Postby SkinsJock » Thu May 16, 2013 1:35 pm

I'd agree with the thinking about Hankerson's upside but I think he has to show a lot in OTAs and training camp to make the roster

I am all for this guy becoming a force for this squad - I'm wondering if he's going to take advantage of his talents and where he is right now
We are lucky to have Cousins - Griffin will become the better QB as he learns to use the pocket & read defenses

Until then, I hope that Cousins takes full advantage of this opportunity

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Re: BREAKOUT: Leonard Hankerson Behind the Numbers

Postby HTTRRG3ALMO » Thu May 16, 2013 1:36 pm

The Hogster wrote:The numbers say that Hankerson is primed for a breakout season, if you can even call it that. Last year he was 2nd behind Morgan in total snaps as a wide receiver with 589, which was 125 more snaps than Moss.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hankerson ranked 15th in the NFL with 45% of his targets going for 1st Downs or Touchdowns. He also ranked 13th in the NFL in PFF's Wide Receiver Rating (119.0). The knock on Hankerson has been that he drops the ball far too often to be a consistent receiver. However, PFF attributed only 3 drops against Hankerson last year which is better than Garcon (5), Moss (6), and Morgan (7).

This article breaks down why Leonard Hankerson could be on the cusp of a breakout if he simply gets more opportunity and improves his weaknesses. Now would be a great time.

2012 Stats:

38 Receptions, 543 Yards, 3 Touchdowns.
2 Rushes, 5 Yards.

Overview

When the Redskins drafted Leonard Hankerson with their 3rd Round selection in the 2011 Draft, the fanbase embraced the pick. And why not? He did break Michael Irivin's single season touchdown record at 'The U.' Hankerson was supposed to be what we had hoped Malcolm Kelly and his "snake-bitten" self would become. A big receiver that somehow ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine (same time as Aldrick Robinson); our very own Brandon Marshall (who Shanahan had drafted in Denver with a 4th Round selection).

Fast-forward two years later and many of us are still waiting for Hankerson to take that leap. After a first-year off-season that was limited due to the NFL lockout and a season that was cut short by a torn labrum and subluxation of his hip, Hankerson entered the 2012 season as the 4th wide receiver on the depth chart. Making the most of the Pierre Garcon injury, Hankerson played in every game last season, starting in 5 out of the 16. He finished the season with just 90 yards less than Garcon and 30 yards less than Santana Moss. He bested "starting" receiver Josh Morgan in yards and touchdowns, even though Morgan had more targets (69) than Hankerson (55).

Quietly, Hankerson became an integral part of Washington's offense in 2012. He finished 2nd behind Morgan in total snaps as a wide receiver with 589, which was 125 more snaps than Moss. According to Pro Football Focus, Hankerson ranked 15th in the NFL with 45% of his targets going for 1st Downs or Touchdowns. He also ranked 13th in the NFL in PFF's Wide Receiver Rating (119.0). The knock on Hankerson has been that he drops the ball far too often to be a consistent receiver. However, PFF attributed only 3 drops against Hankerson last year which is better than Garcon (5), Moss (6), and Morgan (7).

With all that said, Hankerson still has a lot of room for improvement and will need to show the coaching staff that he's ready to take on an expanded role entering his 3rd year.

Improvements for 2013:

YAC, YAC, YAC: Yards After Catch has been a point of emphasis for Mike Shanahan. It is why he was so enamored with Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan last off-season. It is why he spent a 3rd Round pick on Jordan Reed this off-season. With Hankerson's size and (concealed) speed, he has to be able to take the ball up-field more consistently. He ranked 4th in YAC among Redskins wide receivers in 2012. It starts with catching the ball cleanly and then maintaining balance after the catch. Far too often did we see him either bobble the ball initially, stumble into a tackle, or fall into a catch. If he gets back to these basics the yards will come in bunches.

Run Blocking: Hankerson provides no versatility when it comes to special teams. So, he will have to step up in run blocking to get an edge. Hankerson had a higher percentage of snaps go for rushing plays than Garcon, Morgan, and Moss. However, he ranked worst in PFF's run blocking ratings among them all. He just didn't display the tenacity of Garcon and Moss, and was no where close to Morgan's, almost elite, ability to block. Aggressiveness is the key. Maybe a small scuffle with a rookie in camp could go a long way for him.

Be confident down the middle: Hankerson needs to make the middle of the field his home. The read-option helps in opening up holes in the middle. However, two of Hankerson's three drops last year came in the middle of the field and I can remember at least one other instance where Hankerson did a drag across the middle and failed to locate the ball as it went past him. Becoming comfortable with quick hitting slants and drags to the middle will be key for his development.

Bottom Line:

Hankerson is a relative lock to make the team because of his upside. Hankerson will enter OTA's and training camp with the goal of winning the starting 'Z' receiver spot that Josh Morgan currently occupies. Last year the Redskins brought in similarly built Dezmon Briscoe and this year some are hoping Lance Lewis is more than a camp body. The fact remains that snaps and targets should be harder to come by this year with Fred Davis, Jordan Reed, and a 3rd down RB added to the offensive arsenal. It's a make or break off-season for Hankerson's Redskins career. Let's hope he rises to the occasion.


http://www.hogshaven.com/2013/5/16/4318026/redskins-offensive-improvements-leonard-hankerson


Wow I didn't realize he has done this well. I was always a bit frustrated with him & Morgan. Really hoping they all step up this year.

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Postby Kilmer72 » Thu May 16, 2013 4:45 pm

I'm not surprised by Hank's stats. I thought he was finally coming around. Morgan will be much healthier. Expect more from him this year.

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Postby The Hogster » Fri May 17, 2013 8:39 am

I don't think Leonard's roster spot is in jeopardy at all. If anything, I expect his role to increase. At his current pace, if he takes over as the true compliment to Garcon, I could see him doubling his production with more opportunities.

Last season he had 38 Receptions, 543 Yards, 3 Touchdowns. I could see him grab 76 passes, for 1086 Yards and 6 scores. A breakout year doesn't mean he becomes Andre Johnson. It just means that he shows enough improvement to earn more of a role on the field and in the game plan. With those increased opportunities, I expect him to continue doing what he has shown he can when given the chance.
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Postby riggofan » Fri May 17, 2013 1:42 pm

The Hogster wrote:I don't think Leonard's roster spot is in jeopardy at all. If anything, I expect his role to increase. At his current pace, if he takes over as the true compliment to Garcon, I could see him doubling his production with more opportunities.


Yeah I totally agree, Hogster. I don't really get the comment that Hankerson has to show a lot in OTAs and training camp if he even hopes to make the roster. That comment is much more true about Briscoe and several other WRs than about Hankerson.

He's been good and he's gotten better. I think could be a breakout guy this year.

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Postby 1niksder » Sat May 18, 2013 1:08 am

The Hogster wrote:I don't think Leonard's roster spot is in jeopardy at all. If anything, I expect his role to increase. At his current pace, if he takes over as the true compliment to Garcon, I could see him doubling his production with more opportunities.

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Postby SkinsJock » Sun May 19, 2013 5:32 pm

SkinsJock wrote:I'd agree with the thinking about Hankerson's upside but I think he has to show a lot in OTAs and training camp to make the roster

I am all for this guy becoming a force for this squad - I'm wondering if he's going to take advantage of his talents and where he is right now


I understand that this sounds like I don't think Hankerson will do well ... that's not really correct

I do like what Hank has done - I just think that he has not been as 'effective' a WR as the coaches expect ...

he's done well, I just think he has not lived up to the expectations


AGAIN

I just have a feeling that he needs to take the next step and I think that has to happen early or his 'opportunities' may be limited


Hankerson could be a really big play WR for these guys and I hope he makes the effort to get there


he cannot be dropping passes
We are lucky to have Cousins - Griffin will become the better QB as he learns to use the pocket & read defenses

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Postby HTTRRG3ALMO » Sun May 19, 2013 6:08 pm

SkinsJock wrote:
SkinsJock wrote:I'd agree with the thinking about Hankerson's upside but I think he has to show a lot in OTAs and training camp to make the roster

I am all for this guy becoming a force for this squad - I'm wondering if he's going to take advantage of his talents and where he is right now


I understand that this sounds like I don't think Hankerson will do well ... that's not really correct

I do like what Hank has done - I just think that he has not been as 'effective' a WR as the coaches expect ...

he's done well, I just think he has not lived up to the expectations


AGAIN

I just have a feeling that he needs to take the next step and I think that has to happen early or his 'opportunities' may be limited


Hankerson could be a really big play WR for these guys and I hope he makes the effort to get there


he cannot be dropping passes


What about this UDFA Lance Lewis we signed. My guess is that he's probably a long shot, but is there a strong opinion about him in general? Good or bad?

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Postby brad7686 » Sun May 19, 2013 9:09 pm

If Garcon and Davis are healthy, guys like Hankerson and Robinson will be given better chances to exploit matchups. I hope one of them overtakes Morgan and gets more chances.
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Postby Chris Luva Luva » Mon May 20, 2013 8:00 am

SkinsJock wrote:I do like what Hank has done - I just think that he has not been as 'effective' a WR as the coaches expect ...

he's done well, I just think he has not lived up to the expectations


And this is simply based off of the quote below?



SkinsJock wrote:I just have a feeling



SkinsJock wrote:he cannot be dropping passes


Wasn't there a stat in another thread showing that Garcon, Morgan and Moss dropped a higher percentage of passes than him? If anything, Hankerson needs to improve on his agility. He gets off kilter easily, it seems.
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Postby riggofan » Mon May 20, 2013 8:48 am

Chris Luva Luva wrote:Wasn't there a stat in another thread showing that Garcon, Morgan and Moss dropped a higher percentage of passes than him? If anything, Hankerson needs to improve on his agility. He gets off kilter easily, it seems.


Yep:

Per PFF, Hankerson was targeted 55 times and he had 38 receptions and three drops. That gives him a drop rate of 7.32 percent. Of the 82 NFL wide receivers who played at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps that is the 28th-best drop rate.

That’s not great but it was the best on the team. Pierre Garçon caught 44 passes and dropped five, a drop rate of 10.2 percent (51st in the NFL). Josh Morgan’s caught 48 and dropped seven for a rate of 12.73 percent (67th). Santana Moss, with six drops and 41 receptions had a rate of 12.77 (68th).

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