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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills select Sheldon Rankins

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With the 19th overall pick in the 2016 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Buffalo Bills GM naderg43 selects ...

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

Rex Ryan is an incredibly defensive minded head coach, that’s no secret. The Bills took Ronald Darby (cornerback) with their second round pick (traded first rounder away) last year. Rex Ryan and Bills’ GM Doug Whaley might legitimately jump 10 feet into the air and somehow run to Chicago and call his name themselves, if Rankins falls to 19. That’s how unlikely I think this scenario is. None the less, if Rankins is there, I can’t see a world where the Bills pass on him. He fits a need and has incredible talent. I was unbelievably tempted to take Robert Nkemdiche instead of Rankins, but Rankins is an incredibly talented player and comes without off the field issues. The biggest knock on Rankins is his size. Measuring in at 6-1, 299 lbs he was one of the smallest DT at the combine. What he lacks in size he makes up for in athleticism. Look at his spider chart:

Rankins was in the top half of the DTs in the 20-yard shuffle, 3 cone drill, broad jump, vertical jump, bench press, and the 40-yard dash. Rankins was extremely strong going against guards and tackles in college. Watch him bulrush this lineman and sent him into the QB.


In this next clip, watch how he gets off his initial man, and drives the double team back into the QB again.


Teams and scouts have been impressed by his versatility, his strength, and his agility. BGN’s very own Ben Natan and John Barchard frequently gush about him on the pod. Watch how Rankins uses his strength to embarrass the lineman:


His strength is evident play after play, watch here where on back to back plays where he bull-rushes two separate linemen:

Most people won’t question Rankins’ talent, most of his concerns come with his size. Some analysts believe he won’t be able to play every down and could have trouble with some of the bigger linemen in the NFL. While it is a concern, I don’t think it prevents a team from taking him, especially a little later in the first round. Let’s not forget, Rankins is 6-1. The average NFL guard is 6-5, 310 lbs. Rankins can match up weight wise, but will be shorter than most linemen in the league. I believe his strength will make up for his size. He’s already incredibly strong and hitting the weight room even more will only make him stronger.

The only other question if where Rankins fits in with the Bills. The Bills have already met with him, and the need is there. In 2014 (Bills defensive coordinator was … Jim Schwartz), all four of the Bills defensive linemen made the NFL’s Top 100 players list. They are far removed from that kind of production from their defensive linemen. Just one month ago, they fired their defensive line coach and lost arguably their most talented d-lineman in Mario Williams. The team was 31st in sacks last year and 26th in tackles. The highest sack total recorded by any player on the team was 5.0 sacks by LB Jerry Hughes. TJ Barnes, Corbin Bryant, Marcell Dareus, LaVar Edwards, Kyle Williams, and Jerel Worthy (the team’s defensive linemen listed by Rotoworld) recorded a combine 3.0 sacks and 69 tackles. Rankins falling to 19 would be a blessing for Rex Ryan and co., and taking him would provide an immediate impact to a much needed defensive front.

Other players considered:
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Albama
Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Leonard Floyd, OLB, Gerogia

If you would go ahead and vote for yes at the bottom of this thing, I’d be happy. If not, I will be sad. If you like me and the Eagles/football stuff I say/write, then follow me on:

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Or don’t.

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2016 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Titans (ablesser88) - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
2) Browns (EaglesGenius) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [Explanation]
3) Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal - [Explanation]
4) Cowboys (kamjam) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
5) Jaguars (drc242) - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State - [Explanation]
6) Ravens (rohan915) - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon - [Explanation]
7) 49ers (LAOJoe) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA - [Explanation]
8) Eagles (slickpablovick) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
9) Buccaneers (OneBucFan47) - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky - [Explanation]
10) Giants (Paulie97) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida - [Explanation]
11) Bears (Kiko's Delivery Service) - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State - [Explanation]
12) Saints (kylebruneault) - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson - [Explanation]
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh) - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
14) Raiders (Luxury_Used_Vehicles_By_Braman) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State - [Explanation]
15) Rams (NowWhat?) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis - [Explanation]
16) Lions (bri g) - Jason Sprigs, OT, Indiana - [Explanation]
17) Falcons (thealien2696) - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
18) Colts (ei78) - Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
19) Bills (naderg43) - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville - [Explanation]
20) Jets (Quacking_Eagle) -
21) Washington (TheCoxishere) -
22) Texans (jeppsforst) -
23) Vikings (WScott151) -
24) Bengals (burkhart_b) -
25) Steelers (theaction) -
26) Seahawks (tfrank9811) -
27) Packers (3Trace) -
28) Chiefs (jawmo) -
N/A) Patriots - Cheaters
29) Cardinals (big DUB) - 
30) Panthers (zatch2k) -
31) Broncos (JALupowitz) -