DT / LOUISVILLE
Weight: 304 lbs.
Arm length: 32 3/4”
Hands: 9 3/8”
40-yard dash: 5.03 sec.
Bench press: 28 reps
Vertical jump: 34.5”
Broad jump: 118.0”
3-cone drill: 7.44 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.59 sec.
WHAT HE BRINGS TO THE TABLE
The Georgia native picked up All-ACC honors in 2015, finishing the season with 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. His breakout came in 2014 when he led the Cardinals with 13.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in addition to two interceptions for the big man. Rankins played under defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who has 11 years of NFL coaching on his resume with the Cowboys, Browns, Colts, and Texans.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING AT THE COMBINE
“We've been on Rankins' bandwagon for quite some time, as his combination of quickness and power popped off the screen whenever we turned on the film,” McShay said. “After having a terrific week of practices at the Senior Bowl, the versatile D-lineman is shooting up draft boards. Rankins would give the Giants a devastating DT combo with Johnathan Hankins.”
“Sheldon Rankins, I thought the tape was great, and then he goes to the Senior Bowl and he was just unblockable down there,” said NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for three different NFL teams. “So you started to see that buzz kind of build, and then he put that time out there [in combine drills]. I just think he continues to build momentum as we march towards the draft.”
WHAT SHELDON’S SAYING AT THE COMBINE
"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 Five Technique,” Rankins said. “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."
WHAT PLAYER HE MODELS GAME AFTER
Aaron Donald, L.A. Rams. "He's disruptive,” Rankins said. “If he's not making the play, you know where he's at. Everybody on that field knows where he is and has to account for him. If not, he'll make the play. So I think the one thing that speaks volumes about his game is he's disruptive. If you can be disruptive, that causes more headaches than you just making a few plays every game."
Spin move. "The spin move kind of came from basketball,” Rankins said. “I was always kind of the bigger guy on the court, so people always tried to take charges, get me in foul trouble, so going around them wasn't always the easiest. So the spin move kind of came in handy because nobody really expected it, so it just kind of happened on the football field one day and I was like, 'I'm going to keep using it.' And once I got to college, coaches were able to hone that in and actually make it into a real move I could use and be productive with it."
MIKE MAYOCK’S TOP 5 INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
1. DeForest Buckner, Oregon
2. Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
3. Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
4. Jarran Reed, Alabama
5. A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
NFL.COM SCOUTING REPORT
Powerfully built lower half with very good strength. Is extremely compact, but still flexible and very athletic. Everything he does is explosive. Fires into blockers and can jolt and displace them with a combination of leverage and power. Strong base provides excellent balance to battle against double teams or down blocks. At times, will absolutely own finesse blockers. Elite foot quickness for interior defender. Will be difficult to hook or crossface for NFL offensive linemen because of his lateral quickness. Plays with powerful, violent hands. Can play in 2-gap or 1-gap scheme and did just that at Louisville. Plays through the blocker reading and shedding on time to make tackles against the run. Loose, explosive hips that allow him to win edge battles and turn the corner as pass rusher and potentially excel in twist game. Highly productive pass rusher in each of the last two season. Bloodhound with great instincts to diagnose and shutdown screens.