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Road the the NFL Draft: Sheldon Rankins

Position: Defensive tackle.

School: University of Louisville.

Combine measurables: 6-foot-1, 299 pounds.

Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 5.03 seconds, Bench press: 28 reps. Vertical jump: 34.5 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 10 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.44 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.59 seconds.

Career stats: 39 games, 133 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries.

Draft projection: First round.

Lowdown: Rankins will celebrate his birthday on the first day of the draft by becoming a first-round selection after he has steadily moved up draft boards since being a third-team All-ACC selection in 2015. Rankins was one of the stars of Senior Bowl week, showing explosive quickness that helped him dominate one-on-one drills. One of the best run blockers in this year’s draft, he has the power to occupy multiple blockers, but can also get to the quarterback as an interior pass rusher. His versatility – he moved to defensive end for a time this year because of injuries – will attract him to teams.

They said it: “His height and weight 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. 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.” – Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner

– Jay Skurski

The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 28.

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