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Saints selected Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

The Saints had to find pass-rush help in the draft, and they landed perhaps the best interior disruptor available. Rankins (6'1/299) made 29 starts in four seasons at Louisville, compiling 31.5 career tackles for loss and 18 sacks. He turned in a strong Combine workout, running 5.03 with a 34 1/2-inch vertical and 28 bench-press reps. An explosive gap shooter with power and a strong base for run defense, Rankins is a complete defensive tackle despite a shortage of height and body mass. Compared to Kawann Short by Rotoworld's Josh Norris, Rankins should make an immediate impact, either at one or three technique.
Apr 28 - 9:40 PM

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins is still rising up draft boards, according to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Paulins.

"A'Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed and Vernon Butler are good players, but not nearly the pass rushers of Rankins or [Chris] Jones," he wrote in explanations. Rankins' ceiling is probably the Bucs at No. 9, as Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported earlier this week.
Apr 28 - 1:20 PM

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins is in play for the Bucs at No. 9, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports.

"Gonna depend how some things fall," Garafolo tweeted. The "chalk" pick for the Bucs has been Vernon Hargreaves III, with Shaq Lawson as option No. 2. Some might say Rankins and Gerald McCoy would fill the same slot. However, the Bucs need to create disruption in any means necessary, and interior pressure can destroy an offense. We absolutely believe Rankins is worthy of the selection.
Apr 27 - 9:02 AM

The National Football Post's Aaron Wilson reports that Louisville OLB James Burgess has worked out for around a dozen teams and officially visited four others.

He's drawing interest from 3-4 and 4-3 teams alike. The 6-foot, 229-pounder with a 40-yard dash of 4.61 seconds is also seen by some as a candidate to move to safety. It's possible that Burgess is the only human alive who can claim he intercepted both Jameis Winston and DeShaun Watson in college.
Apr 26 - 8:03 PM

Texas A&M sophomore TE Jordan Davis transferred to Louisville.

Per NCAA transfer regulations, Davis will have to sit out the 2016 campaign. He had also been considering Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Oregon before he settled on Louisville. The 6-foot-4, 251-pounder specifically cited the potential of QB Lamar Jackson as playing into his transfer destination, adding, "I didn't need to go anywhere else. I prayed about it, talked to my family about it, and I feel like it'll be the right place for the next few years." Last season, the former four-star recruit caught two passes for seven yards and a touchdown.
Apr 21 - 12:52 PM

Louisville sophomore QB Lamar Jackson completed 24-of-29 passes for 518 yards and eight touchdowns in Saturday's spring game.

There generally isn't much that can be gleaned from spring statistics, but if nothing else, Jackson's work on Saturday deserves some attention. The 6-foot-3, 196-pound gunslinger's gaudy numbers are made all the more impressive given that they came in a little more than two quarters of work. Granted, against second and third-team defenses. HC Bobby Petrino is a fan regardless, saying, "He's got great arm strength, great wrist snap. We've just got to continue to work on our timing. He certainly can throw the deep ball, and he improved on it all spring." Last season, Jackson threw for 1,840 yards with a 12/8 TD/INT ratio. He also rushed for 960 yards and 11 scores. We're excited to see if Jackson can harness the whole package in 2016.
Apr 18 - 12:27 PM

Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino received a new 7-year deal, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy.

Per McMurphy, the deal is for $30.625 million and averages $4.35 million per year. Petrino is 17-9 in the last two seasons since returning to Louisville after making pit stops with the Atlanta Falcons, Arkansas Razorbacks and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Petrino's career has been a rocky one, but he is a good football coach and has a history of winning at Louisville, which is sometimes all that matters.
Apr 14 - 11:43 AM

Louisville DC Todd Grantham told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that DT Sheldon Rankins is the best "pure" defensive lineman he has ever coached.

Grantham could be a bit biased here, given that Rankins is his pupil, but he has a long, long coaching resume from which to judge prospects. That includes four stops with NFL teams (Grantham cut his coaching teeth in the pros before dropping down to the college ranks with Georgia in 2010). NFL Media's Chad Reuter sees the 6-foot-1, 299-pound draft-hopeful as a strong value in the back half of the first round or front half of the second round. The analyst becomes more uncomfortable with the notion of Rankins as a top-15 pick, though, due in part to the fact that he might lack the heft to play as an every-down lineman.
Apr 9 - 1:12 PM

Even though the Bears have devoted heavy resources into the defensive front in recent years, ESPN's Kevin Weidl urges the organization to strongly consider taking Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins in Rd. 1.

In the past two drafts alone, Chicago has used three Day 2 picks on the defensive line. To get Rankins, they'll have to burn their first-rounder. "Rankins doesn't have ideal measurables, but he has experience playing in a similar scheme at Louisville and brings versatility to line up in multiple spots," Weidl wrote. "Rankins would help improve a run defense that allowed 4.5 yards per rush in 2015, while also providing pass-rushing help on the interior." Rankins would look nice next to DT Eddie Goldman.
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 8 - 1:06 PM

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins will visit the Bills, Bucs and Cowboys later this week.

Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo, who reported the news, indicated that Dallas may look to trade down from No. 4 with Rankins in mind if the defensive lineman wows them during his visit. Rankins is one of the bigger eye-of-the-beholder prospects among this year's probable first-rounders.
Apr 4 - 3:21 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter wrote that Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins' lack of bulk could prevent him from being an every-down NFL defender.

Per Reuter, "his lack of bulk and inconsistent ability to shed better blockers inside make him a liability as an every-down player." The analyst goes on to write that with a good coaching staff in place, he could develop as a pass-rusher. "But he's really a better value in the late-first/early second round than he is in the top half of Round 1," he concluded of the 6-foot-1, 299-pounder. It's very possible he could sneak past that "late first round" barrier, though. During Rankins' Pro Day earlier this month, he put on a "great positional workout," according to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 25 - 2:07 PM

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt believes that Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins will be drafted "in the 25-40 range."

Late first round to mid-second round is Brandt's estimation here. The senior analyst is keen on the 6-foot-1, 299-pounder's athleticism and strength as well as his quickness and speed. Among the teams Rankin is scheduled to meet with coming up (per TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline), the Cowboys, Buccaneers and Bills. Pro Football Focus came up with a different trio as his best possible scheme fits at the next level, checking off the Saints, Dolphins and Raiders on that front.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 24 - 11:03 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline hears that Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins will meet with the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills.

Of note, Pauline wrote that Rankins' list "includes" those teams, meaning there could certainly be others on the horizon. The 6-foot-1, 299-pound Cardinals draft-hopeful is one of a handful of players who opted not to workout during his respective Pro Day, instead standing by all of his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine (including 28 reps on the bench press, a 34.5-inch vertical jump and a 118-inch broad jump). Rankins has previously indicated that he models his game after those of stalwart NFL defenders Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt and Geno Atkins. A scout told MMQB's Robert Klemko that he's a "300-pounder with ballerina moves" in early March.
Mar 22 - 1:07 PM

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins best schematically fits the Saints, Dolphins and Raiders, according to Pro Football Focus' Michael Renner.

"His height (6-1) and weight (299 pounds) might scare some 3-4 teams, but there is little doubt in my mind after watching him play head up on tackles last season that Rankins can do it all and did just that at Louisville," Renner wrote. The Saints, Dolphins and Raiders picks, in order, from Nos. 12-14, right around the range Rankins will go. "If you’re a 4-3 team that plays sides with their defensive tackles or a 3-4 team that gets creative with its fronts, Rankins is your guy," Renner wrote. "Over the past two seasons, only DeForest Buckner has a higher overall grade on the interior."
Mar 18 - 4:21 PM

According to multiple reports, Louisville will hire West Virginia WR coach Lonnie Galloway to serve as co-offensive coordinator.

Louisville is looking to replace Garrick McGee, who left the program to take an offensive coordinating gig with Lovie Smith and Illinois last week. Galloway's completed two stints with the Mountaineers, now, from 2008-2010 and from 2013-2016. In between those two gigs, he worked as a receiving coach at Purdue. The Cardinals had kicked around the idea of hiring Idaho HC Paul Petrino to step into McGee's shoes, but Petrino was reportedly happy with his position in Moscow.
Mar 14 - 12:09 PM


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