After a stellar four-year career for the Cardinals. Louisville defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins is headed to the New Orleans Saints

Former University of Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins was selected by the New Orleans Saints as the No. 12th pick of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Rankins is the fifth first-round pick in three years for the Louisville program.

DL Sheldon Rankins Drafted

First round, 12th pick

Team: New Orleans Saints

Bio Info

Eastside High School (Covington, Ga.)



5.03 40

33 3/8-inch arm length

9 3/8-inch hands

28 reps on bench press

34.5 vert jump

Scout Pre-Draft Rankings

Four-star prospect

No. 5 defensive lineman in the draft

No. 33 overall prospect

Louisville Career:

Rankins had a stellar four-year career at Louisville, playing some as a freshman and then taking over a spot on the line for his final three seasons. He was a force as a junior and senior. In his two years as a starter, Rankings had 111 tackles, 26.5 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a touchdowns. He finished his career with 31 tackles for a loss and 18 sacks.

Rankins leaves Louisville as one of the best interior defensive linemen in school history. He was forced to play other spots, including some defensive end as a senior with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham calling him the "best lineman I've been around."

Expert Breakdown: “A strong, disruptive player who looks to be a decent fit in both a 4-3 and 3-4 scheme, he could well be the first defensive tackle off the board somewhere in the middle third of the first round, but his injury history may scare off some teams early." --- analysis and projection on Rankins.

Rankins Says: “I wanted to show (the scouts) that I'm able to stay on the field for all three downs and that I can play just about whatever you need me to play - defensive end, defensive tackle, nose guard - whatever a teams asks me to do, I'm able to do."

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