Todd McShay, one of two NFL Draft experts at ESPN, released his third 2016 NFL mock draft of the offseason on Wednesday. In it, he projects Louisville defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins to the Buffalo Bills with the No. 19 overall pick in the first round.
"You have to think Rex Ryan would be pretty happy if Rankins fell to No. 19 overall," McShay wrote. "He's not Sheldon Richardson, but the Louisville product would fill that type of role playing alongside Marcell Dareus in Ryan's defense."
Rankins, who was one of the top performers at this year's Senior Bowl, measured in at 6'1" and 299 pounds at last week's NFL Combine. He also posted impressive workout numbers, with a 5.03-second 40-yard dash time and a 34.5-inch vertical jump.
Those numbers back up what you see on tape with Rankins, who in his final two years as a starter at Louisville racked up 111 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery: he's an explosive interior presence that is disruptive against both the run and the pass. He's not the five-technique end that everyone insists that the Bills need this offseason, but don't let that fool you into thinking he doesn't fit the Ryan defense; it's a scheme predicated on interior pressure, and Rankins has the ability to give the Bills a big boost in that area.
How would you feel about the Bills dipping into the Louisville pool for a third straight year (following linebacker Preston Brown and guard John Miller) for an early draft pick?