New Orleans Saints draft Sheldon Rankins with 12th overall pick

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Oct 24, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Jeff Smith (5) scrambles away from Louisville Cardinals defensive end Sheldon Rankins (98) during the second half at Papa John
Oct 24, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Jeff Smith (5) scrambles away from Louisville Cardinals defensive end Sheldon Rankins (98) during the second half at Papa John /
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Sheldon Rankins is the newest member of the New Orleans Saints organization after the Black and Gold spent the 12th overall pick on the Louisville standout defensive lineman.

Sheldon Rankins was the most popular mock draft pick for the New Orleans Saints this offseason, and for good reason — the dude can ball.

At the collegiate level, Sheldon Rankins proved that he could do it all as a defensive team captain.  Whether it was attacking from the middle, rushing from the edge, or plugging the gaps, production was not hard to come by.

He’s not the biggest defensive tackle in the draft, but his strength, power, speed, and footwork off the snap outweigh it.  He’s a hardworking, ‘all-over-the-field’ kind of player, attacking ball carriers any chance he gets.

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His versatility and flexibility make him a perfect fit for virtually any scheme, while granting him the capabilities to play any position along the defensive line.

There’s really not much to dislike about Sheldon Rankins.  Other than his lack of ideal size, he looks to be a beautifult fit for the Saints, a team that had holes to fill on the defensive line headed into the draft, despite the Nick Fairley signing in free agency.

There is potential talent already on the roster, but it isn’t guaranteed — they can’t rely on mid-late-round picks and undrafted free agents from a season ago (Tyler Davison, Bobby Richardson, etc) turning into gold.  You will be a bad football team if that’s your motive. We saw that from the Saints in 2015, but they really had no choice.

Rankins is a day-one starter-type player.  There was a chance he didn’t even fall. Between his abilities along the entire defensive front that made him productive as a bull rusher, run stuffer, and edge rusher in college, he seems to possess all the intangibles to be a play maker for the Saints’ defense.

New Orleans got a big upgrade on the line tonight.  They passed on names like Shaq Lawson and Myles Jack (yes, he fell far thanks to his medical recheck) to draft Sheldon Rankins, so they better pray he pans out.  His versatility along the entire line is certainly something to be excited about. I know Cam Jordan is a happy camper.

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