Sheldon Rankins is a (New Orleans) Saint

04/28/2016 10:01 PM

Louisville defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins went exactly where the mock drafts projected – 12th to the New Orleans Saints.

Rankins is 6’1” and weighs right around 300 lbs. While defensive tackle will be his position in the NFL, Rankins has also played defensive end and has proven himself nimble enough to occasionally drop back into pass coverage.

People still talk about his scooping up a fumble and returning it for a touchdown against Boston College. Rankins had six sacks last season for the Cards. For his career, the Covington, Georgia native had 133 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and 18.0 sacks. That ranks Top-10 in UofL history.

During the NFL Combine, Rankins was admired as much for his off-field preparation as his on-field skills. He is considered a good student of the game who should fit in nicely with the Saints.

Rankins is the fifth Cardinal to be taken in the first round during the past three years. UofL Head Coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement, “I’m extremely proud and excited for Sheldon Rankins on his selection this evening. Being a first round pick is a great accomplishment and a much-deserved honor. He has worked so hard to perfect his craft and he is one of the most complete football players I have ever coached. I wish him nothing but success as he makes the jump to the next level, and I thank him for his contributions to our program.”

Rankins is the only Card expected to go in this year’s first round, but there are other UofL players who might get chosen as the NFL Draft moves onward. It continues Friday and wraps up on Saturday.

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