Sheldon Rankins was a three-star recruit from Eastside HS in Covington, Georgia. Rivals ranked him as the 32nd strongside defensive end in the 2012 class. Rankins was recruited by Mississippi State, Nebraska, and Wake Forest, but decided to play for Louisville. He enters the 2016 NFL Draft as one of the top interior defensive line prospects.
||April 2, 1994
||Bench (225 lbs)
||20 Yard Shuttle
||3 Cone Drill
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd split)
||5.03 sec (1.74 sec)
||60 Yard Shuttle
Stats and Awards
|University of Louisville (2012-2015)
|2015 – 58 tackles (13.0 for loss), 6.0 sacks, 1 PD, 1 DEF TD
|2014 – 53 tackles (13.5 for loss), 8.0 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 PD, 1 FF
|2013 – 15 tackles (4.0 for loss), 3.0 sacks, 2 PDs, 1 FF
|2012 – 5 tackles (1.0 for loss), 1.0 sacks
Short, stout body with wide shoulders
Mainly 0-tech NT or 5-tech DE 2gapper in college, but looked good as 1-gap pass rusher showing the burst necessary to penetrate
Good hip flexibility and burst to run stunts as looper
Does not disengage well from blocks especially in pass rush
Not afraid to dive into piles and gangtackle ball carrier
Tackle reading as an edge defender.
Poor snap anticipation. Always last one off line of scrimmage.
Good edge run defender using length to extend and keep blockers off of him
Good job keeping square shoulders to attack blockers
Uses spill technique to create pile-ups on lead/pulling blockers
Good acceleration and shows good speed-to-power conversion
Gets hands up to block passes, but height doesn’t allow him to be a factor though.
Main pass rush move is bullrush converting burst to power, but needs counter move (bulljerk)
Has a great swim move through A-gap, and an underrated spin move which he needs to use it more often from inside
Dealt with consistent double teams
Great job of read-and-react. Doesn’t make the same mistake twice.
Fights through blocks
Good job of keeping feet moving down line of scrimmage on stretch plays
Good nose for football. Does a good job of staying in position to make plays.
Excellent effort in pursuit on his side of the field. Will see him chase down ball carriers down sideline.
Drew a lot of holding penalties
Rankins is a short, stout defensive lineman with solid length for his size. He displays a good burst off the line of scrimmage and he gives excellent effort in pursuit chasing down ball carriers. He is a natural in space and has good hip flexibility. This makes him an excellent candidate to run stunts with a creative defensive coordinator.
The main issue that I noticed consistently throughout his tape was that he was always the last one to move after the snap.
Based on his size and skill-set, Rankins projects best as a one-gap interior defensive lineman in the NFL. In order to be effective in the NFL, he absolutely needs to time the snap better. Hopefully, it’s correctable.
Article continues on the next page looking at his pass rush.