PFF scouting report: Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville

Mike Renner and the PFF draft crew break down the play of Louisville's Sheldon Rankins ahead of the 2016 NFL draft.

| 7 months ago
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

PFF scouting report: Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville

Below is the PFF draft profile for Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit:

Any position along the defensive interior. Fit for either 2-gap or 1-gap.

Stats to know:

Second-highest-graded interior defender over the last two seasons.

What he does best:

• Elite short-area quickness for his size. Makes offensive linemen look silly with nut-stunts.

• Immediately controls linemen when playing from a head-up position.

• Already understands his leverage advantage and drives through offensive linemen.

• Explosive interior player. One of the few in the class that offers some juice as a pass-rusher. Was one of most successful players in one-on-ones at the Senior Bowl.

Biggest concern:

• Production completely died off over last six games in 2015.

• Size doesn’t seem to fit his strengths. Was great in college at 2-gapping, but his limited height (6-foot-1) and length means that may not translate to NFL.

• Disappeared as a pass-rusher for stretches. Was held without a single pressure in his final college game against Texas A&M.

Player style comparison:

Jurrell Casey, Tennessee Titans. Both are short, squatty defensive tackles that are far more versatile than their size suggests.

Bottom line:

Rankins’ versatility and production should outweigh any concerns about his height. The DT checks so many boxes that he should be an early first-rounder.


    I’m high on this guy my top DT in this draft for the Lions, have to have pass rushers in the middle.