Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, a two-year starter at Louisville, is coming off back-to-back impressive seasons with the Cardinals. He started all 13 games in each of his junior and senior years and posted 13.5 and 13 tackles for loss in those seasons, respectively.
The 6-1, 299-pound Rankins is also catching scouts' eyes for his versatility. In his four years in college, he played in both 2-gap and 1-gap schemes, finding success in both. He finished at Louisville with 133 total tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks and two interceptions.
He is projected to be a late-first round or early-second round pick and is expected to be a three-down defensive tackle who can step in and make an impact early in his NFL career.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
Everything about Rankins' game screams winning football player. He has been extremely productive as a bull-rusher and edge rusher and he can hold the point of attack or play in gaps. Rankins is a ball of power with rare foot quickness, a great motor and outstanding feel for his position. With so many teams playing in sub-packages now, I would expect both 4-3 and 3-4 teams to consider him for an interior spot despite his shorter stature. Thanks to Rankins' ability to disrupt, I think he has a great shot at getting starter's snaps early on, but don't be shocked to see him fall a little in the draft due to his smaller stature. – Lance Zierlein
What He Said
"I just feel like my versatility does a lot for me. The fact that I've played in a 3-4, I've played in a 4-3, I've played all up and down the D-line, from zero nose to a 5-technique. I feel like, when you turn on the tape, you see me doing a lot more things. You're able to see things as far as me being able to adjust to certain formations and things like that. You can see me as far as pre-snap movements and things like that. I think that my versatility and my intelligence really sets me apart." – Sheldon Rankins on what sets him apart from other defensive tackles in this draft class