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2016 NFL Draft: Louisville defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins

The Cards are going to have a big void on the defensive line to fill.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Physical stature

Height: 6'1"

Arm Length: 33 3/8"

Weight: 299 lbs

Hands: 9 3/8"

Combine Results

40 yard dash: 5.03 seconds

3 cone drill: 7.44 seconds

20 yard shuttle: 4.59 seconds

Bench press: 28 reps

Vertical jump: 34.5"

Broad jump: 118"


Daniel Jeremiah: Saints (#12 overall)

Charles Davis: Saints (#12 overall)

Chad Reuter: Bills (#19 overall)

Charley Casserly: Panthers (#30 overall)

Curtis Conway: Raiders (#14 overall)

CBS Sports

Rob Rang: Saints (#12 overall)

Dane Brugler: Saints (#12 overall)

Pete Prisco: Saints (#12 overall)

Will Brinson: Green Bay (#27 overall)

Jared Dubin: Saints (#12 overall)

Sports Illustrated

Chris Burke: Kansas City (#28 overall)

Well, if you're in to the betting scene, it looks like you'll want to put your money on the Saints taking Rankins as just about all of the analysts have him headed down to the bayou. Or, at least, within the first 15 picks (not really sure what your deal is there, Casserly). The Saints really don't come as a surprise as the team that a lot of analysts are expecting to pick Rankins, as their defense ranked just about last in almost every defensive statistic. The Packers are an interesting team in play here, but that's to be expected since B.J. Raji announced his hiatus from the NFL.

Season Recap

Rankins is coming off of two very successful years in both his junior and senior years while helping Louisville transition to the ACC. In his final year as a Cardinal, he was able to get 13 tackles for loss along with 6 sacks. Overall, he finished 2015 with 58 tackles, 7 QB hurries, and a fumble recovered 46 yards for a touchdown.


Rankins has a very powerful lower half of his body that helps him be very explosive. His strong base allows him to fight against double teams. Flexible hips to use in pass rushing situations to turn the corner. Effectively sheds of blocks to make the tackle in the run game. Has lateral quickness to stunt and move around blockers to help collapse the pocket. He shows a lot of effort and determination to chase down any ball carrier from behind away from the line of scrimmage. He'll also use his strong arms and quick hand moves to get by opposing offensive linemen. Shows his versatility as he can play in either a 2-gap or 1-gap scheme.


While scouts do like Rankins quick hands, he'll need to develop some secondary pass rush moves. Will need to improve upon his anticipation and overall quickness off of the snap. Some concerns that if he tries to build up on his size, he could lose some of his quickness. Needs to work on keeping his pads at a lower level.

Player Comparisons

Grady Jarrett