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2016 NFL Draft: Bobby Petrino releases statement on Sheldon Rankins selection

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

From U of L:

Louisville defensive end Sheldon Rankins was selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the first round of the 2016 National Football League Draft Thursday evening at the Auditorium Theater by the New Orleans Saints.

Rankins is the Cardinals' fifth first-round pick over the last three drafts and 13th first-round selection in school history. In 2014, safety Calvin Pryor, outside linebacker Marcus Smith, and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater all went in round one, while wide receiver DeVante Parker went in the opening round last season.

Under the watch of head coach Bobby Petrino, the Cardinals have placed three players in the first round: Rankins, Parker, and Amobi Okoye. Former center Eric Wood was a first-round selection in 2008, but played for Petrino from 2004-07.

"I'm extremely proud and excited for Sheldon Rankins on his selection this evening," head coach Bobby Petrino said. "Being a first round pick is a great accomplishment and a much-deserved honor. He has worked so hard to perfect his craft and he is one of the most complete football players I have ever coached. I wish him nothing but success as he makes the jump to the next level, and I thank him for his contributions to our program."