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Sheldon Rankins 2016 NFL Draft Profile

Position: Defensive Line
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 299 pounds
School: Louisville Cardinals

Combine Performance Data
Bench Press: 28 Reps
40 Yard Dash: 5.03 seconds
Vertical: 34.5″
Broad Jump: 118″
3 Cone Drill: 7.44 seconds
20 Yard Shuffle: 4.59 seconds

Sheldon Rankins 2016 Draft Profile

Rankins is a kid who has always been talked about as undersized since coming out of high school in Covington, Georgia. That led to Rankins taking his freshman year to adjust to the size and speed of the game and he saw snaps in limited moments during that year.

In his sophomore year he saw a bit more playing time, but didn’t earn his first career start until the teams bowl game at the end of the year. Rankins recorded four tackles for loss that year and three sacks. There were signs that he would be a full time starter the following year and he had a chance to prove himself.

In his junior year is when he took advantage and took a big step into becoming an NFL prospect. He became extremely disruptive, and recorded 13.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks, both career highs. He started all 13 games for the first time in his career, and was awarded as an ACC third team All-Defense performer.

During his senior he put up similar numbers and was even more disruptive in the run game. He was able to take same in different techniques and was able to showcase his versatility. This led to a second team All-ACC performer, and shot his status from prospect, to first round prospect.


  • Ability to play multple techniques. He can line up right under the cetner, or even out on the tackles, and anywhere in between.
  • Uses his strength to establsh position and is tough to move off of the line.
  • Has underrated speed and athleticsm, causing him to rush off the edge
  • Solid against the run


  • Doesn”t have the typical size of a defenive tackle, and doestn’t reall have the length for an end.
  • Doesn”t have an initial explosion.
  • Doesn’t have pass rushing moves, mainly just establishes position, or bull rushes
  • If he faces NFL guards and tackles who are bigger than him, will he be able to hold up?

NFL Comparison: Jurell Casey

Projection: Mid first to early secound round pick

Teams with need at positions: Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts

Bottom Line:

The bottom line is that this kid has some questions but has a lot to like as well. He gives you a lot of energy on a play to play to basis and is always engaaged, but does need to be in a certain scheme to be effective. Personally, he looks like he could be better in 3-4 as a defensive end.

If he can find himself in that role, he should be extremely successful in what he does against the run, and how he takes up space to open up rushers on the outside. At the end of the day he does deserve to be picked in the first round due to his exceptional athleticsm for a defensive lineman, and ability to be disruptive against the run, and that is always a commodity in the NFL.

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