*In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2016 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on April 28th. *
We continue the series with a scouting report of Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins.
Name: Sheldon Rankins
Weight: 299 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Grady Jarrett
The 2016 NFL Draft is loaded with highly regarded defensive line prospects.
Sheldon Rankins is universally near the top of the list.
On the heels of a breakout junior campaign in which he totaled 53 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and two interceptions in 2014, Rankins was named a third-team All-ACC pick as a senior in 2015. He amassed 58 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks for Louisville as he established himself as one of the nation's top level defensive lineman. Rankins was the star of the Senior Bowl in January, outshining the competition during practice sessions and in drills.
The 6-1, 299-pounder is blessed with heavy hands that knock would-be blockers off their feet. Quick and explosive in all of his movements, Rankins is stout at the point of attack thanks to a low center of gravity and powerful lower body. Effective against the run, he is also a terror rushing the passer from the interior thanks to his natural instincts and elite quickness.
While some would like Rankins to bulk up at the next level, others believe it would zap him of his unique quick-twitch athleticism. Overall, even though the defensive line position is loaded heading into the draft, Rankins is a safe bet to come off the board on day one.
40-Yard Dash:5.03 seconds
Bench Press: 28 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5 inches
Broad Jump: 118.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.44 seconds
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers' front office staff, coaches or executives.