Eyeing Sheldon Rankins

March 7th, 2016
Is Louisville DE Sheldon Rankins ranked too high?

Is Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins ranked too high?

Ol’ helmethair himself, Mel Kiper, Jr., watched the NFL Scouting Combine intensely (Joe assumes), and after bouncing ideas off the heads of his NFL contacts, Kiper has post-combine rankings of all positions in next month’s NFL draft.

Kiper, who strangely Joe has never seen at the combine, has his No. 3 defensive end to be Sheldon Rankins of Louisville. Why is Joe highlighting a No. 3 defensive end?

(Kiper projects Rankins as a defensive end in the NFL.)

The Bucs, picking at No. 9, could be in line for whomever they deem to be the third-best defensive end. Joe assumes that as many as two defensive ends go in the first eight picks.

Kiper may be in the minority.

Browsing the Interwebs, Joe finds few accolades for Rankins, as he doesn’t project to be an every-down defensive end due to what one scout told NFL.com to be physical limitations.

If you read the NFL.com piece on Rankins, it sure seems like he would not be a top-10 draft pick.

27 Responses to “Eyeing Sheldon Rankins”

  1. darin Says:

    I thought he was a DT. Guess I need to check him out too

  2. CaptainStagger Says:

    He is a DT

  3. No_Bucs_Given Says:

    He’s a DT

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    He switched positions?

  5. buc4life1979 Says:

    There’s this pro-bowl DT named Geno Atkins, whose “scouting” report read very similiar to Rankins, but Rankins already has better handwork coming out, and who coached that Atkins guy, oh yeah, our new D-line coach. GO BUCS!!!

  6. buc4life1979 Says:

    And his position IS DT btw, but he has exp switiching from 4-3 to 3-4 front positions (sound familiar?), A good “football eye” would say his potential pro comparision falls somewhere Darnell Dockett and Geno Atkins.

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    I think Rankins or DT should be the pick at 9. The only reason why not to pick one of these elite DT is if Ramsey, Bosa, Buckner, Tunsil or Stanley doesn’t drop to us. Everyone says they want best talent available according to your teams needs than this is the smart choice. There just isn’t as much of a drop off with the DE in the 2nd-4th round. Interior pass rush gives QBs fits and Rankins maybe slightly the 3rd best DT but he is clearly the best interior pass rusher.

  8. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Rankins is a DT and trust me this kid is on the Buccs radar. I would be pleased if he was taken at 9.

  9. bucs4life86 Says:

    I have been slowly leaning towards drafting Rankins lately and if the big name guys are gone when we pick I think he’s a great option if we don’t trade down. He is said to be a bigger version of aaron Donald, and just a step slower because he’s a little bigger but as far as pass rushing skills he’s the best Big guy in the draft. Explosive get off and is great with his hands. This guy lived in the backfield at Louisville. Pairing him with McCoy would be tremendous. And with McCoy struggling to stay healthy all the time he could be of great benefit as the no. 1 guy. And we’re always rotating at DT because of the heat anyways so he would be a great addition to this defense. Licht has showed that DT is a priority of his(being one in college) by signing Melton & McDaniel. (wich won’t be resigned) plus Spence and McDonald are coming off big injuries so it is a position that needs to be addressed. A pass rushing tandem at DT would be very intriguing and would benefit the whole defense, not just the DE’s.

  10. dave Says:

    this guy is a 3 technique dt. do not get him at 9. we need more speed off the edge, dt is a position that is actually fine

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    If Rankins is available at #9 I’d draft him in a heartbeat. Pressure up the middle is as critical as pressure from the ends. Could use him to rotate with GMC to keep both fresh, or to pair him with GMC at times to add even more pressure up the middle. Not to mention that GMC’s 28 now, and having an experienced 3-technique already on the team would sure be nice.

  12. Lord Says:

    I like rankins a lot. Watched some of his senior bowl work the guy was incredibly explosive compared to other lineman and hands are awesome

    If we have 2 Gerald McCoy types pushing the interior we don’t need Simeon rices on the edge. Also is good depth / flexibility.

    Would love to go DT/DE with first 2 picks the way the talent seems to be shaking out in mocks right now.

  13. Maze Says:

    I’m confused thought he was a DT?

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Rankins has..mean beast like Killer qualities our Defensive line needs. If the 2 top Defensive Ends are gone at 9..Grab him like you are a starving shoplifter!
    Hell, grab him..period!!

  15. Cover deuce Says:

    He’s a DT, but he’s really productive against the pass. I’d rather take him than reach for a DB or DE. If he’s the pick I wouldn’t be surprised or disappointed.

  16. Joe Says:

    Kiper projects Rankins as a DE in the NFL.


  17. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Okay people are starting to take notice of how much damage can be done with two dominant DT on the squad. Much like I’m sure Mike Smith would prefer, again see Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. Joe kiper gets paid to do what he does DC get paid to do what they do. My says this guy will be a DT in the league.

  18. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I still think we can get Bosa, if the QB’s go off the board early. Add Mario Williams via free agency and pair with Bosa and GMC…our D-line will cause opposing QB’s nightmares for the next few seasons!

  19. Pick6 Says:

    i’m not going to sit here and say i have watched much (possibly any) louisville football lately, but whe i read scouting reports i think he is like darnell dockett and michael bennett in that he is probably closest physically to a 3 technique, but more importantly seems like a great guy to have in a multiple front. either way, scouting him strictly as a DE is probably doing him a major disservice

  20. Stanglassman Says:

    Nobody is lining him up to rush from the DE position the guy is a DT. If the Bucs draft him that is where he will play.

    I looked at Joe’s link but it has a pay wall so I looked around at other draft experts and no one has him listed as a DE because he isn’t one.

  21. Stanglassman Says:

    Mel Kiper’s 1.0 didn’t have Rankins going in the first round and had DE Oakman as his top DE. His 2nd (latest) mock has he going 12th DL Rankins list as a DT.

  22. godzilla13 Says:

    Rankins can play a number of positions along the defensive front, attacking blockers in the run game while providing a strong pass rush. Rankins was dominant in this years Senior Bowl however he was not as dominant in Louisville’s bowl game win over Texas A&M. What we need is a dominant nose tackle. Andrew Billings, defensive interior, Baylor One of the strongest players in the draft, Billings is a beast at the point of attack and perhaps the best nose tackle option in the draft. He was also got after the quarterback among the best in the country the past two seasons.

  23. salish_seamonster Says:

    Guess Pewter Report needs to check those NFL sources about “limitations” before their next mock draft.

  24. Stanglassman Says:

    Yeah- PR said he was miscast when they played him at DE. I agree Rankins can play mutable position and techniques.

    I would be happy with whoever the coaches choose between DTs Rankins and Billings if the big 4 (Ramsey, Bosa, Tunsil and Buckner) don’t drop. It all depends on FA acquisitions and how the draft unfolds.

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    if bosa or Hargreaves falls to #9 we have to take one of them…w.ghloston is a beast against the run in the middle or on the edge and can get pressure on the qb…adding bosa to the edge is all we need…if bosa is gone bpa is Hargreaves….GO BUCS!!!

  26. salish_seamonster Says:

    Hargreaves NO. That’s WAY too high for that guy. He’s not an elite CB prospect from the things I’ve read.

  27. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Will Jackson III if you looking for a corner.