Louisville's Defensive Tackle Sheldon Rankins continues to be a favorite selection of mock drafts for the New Orleans Saints in the first round, number 12 overall, in the 2016 NFL Draft.
In preparation of when the first team (now the Los Angeles Rams) is on the clock, Bleacher Report listed the Top 10 players worthy of "reaching" for in this year's draft. Sheldon Rankins came in on the list, listed by BR as the 11th overall draft prospect, regardless of position. About Rankins, BR said:
Sheldon Rankins of Louisville will likely be the highest-drafted 3-technique in this class, but he needs to be considered a top-eight lock. At Louisville, he played both as a 3-tech and as a two-gap 3-4 defensive end. As a quality run defender, don't rule him out as a 1-technique nose tackle, either, in a scheme similar to the Carolina Panthers', where they play their defensive tackles at both 3-tech and 1-tech.
His versatility makes him extremely valuable, as most defensive linemen are limited to one role. Rankins can realistically play three, which is a big bonus for hybrid schemes. Between his Swiss Army knife style of play and the explosion he's able to generate off the line of scrimmage, a comparison to Carolina's Kawann Short, who finished second in the NFL in interior sacks, is fair.
Wow. The 11th overall prospect, who potentially should go in the Top 8, going to the Saints at 12? Does that make you more or less excited about the Saints potentially adding Rankins to their defensive unit?
Other notable names on BR's list include Clemson DE Shaq Lawson (listed as the 12th best prospect to go in the Top 10), Memphis QB Paxton Lynch (listed as the 31st best prospect who is worthy of a Top 10 pick), and Ole Miss DE Robert Nkemdiche (listed 37th overall, but a Top 5 talent).