Martinas Rankin 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 17: Martinas Rankin #55 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs blocks during a game at Tiger Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Overview
Position
: Offensive tackle
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 305 pounds
School: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Combine Performance Data
Bench press: 24 reps

Martinas Rankin 2018 NFL Draft Profile

After two years of play at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Martinas Rankin had cemented himself as one of the best junior college offensive tackle prospects across the country and a top-five overall recruiting prospect. Rankin found a home with the Mississippi State Bulldogs as a left tackle and drew plenty of attention during his 2016 season. During his senior year at Mississippi State, he was forced to miss time after suffering a high ankle sprain in a game against the Auburn Tigers. In spite of this, Rankin was still selected as a first-team All-SEC offensive tackle in 2017.

While Rankin’s success in college was at left tackle, the young player from Mendenhall, MS may need to make the transition to guard or center to be successful at the next level. NFL scouts suggest that starting Rankin at center may be the best option.

Strengths

  • ability to play several positions along the offensive line with little coaching necessary;
  • sets feet hard and square at the line of scrimmage;
  • able to get out of his stance quickly;
  • solid sets and mirroring – does not overcommit to early movement;
  • demonstrates upper body strength and significant ability to knock defenders off balance at the snap;
  • excellent run-blocking ability;
  • good second-level awareness;
  • has experience snapping the ball as an emergency center at Mississippi State.

Weaknesses

  • outside hand weakness makes him vulnerable to pass rushers;
  • ankle injury history may raise some concerns;
  • average to below-average slide speed;
  • questionable hand placement and movement decisions on blocks;
  • gives too much ground and cannot finish against power;
  • regressed in pass coverage in 2017, likely due to ankle injury.

NFL ComparisonJustin Britt

Teams With Need at PositionKansas City ChiefsWashington Redskins, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers

Projection: Third round

Bottom Line

There is little chance that Rankin sees time as a starting offensive tackle in the NFL next year. Whichever team drafts him this week will likely keep him inside to take advantage of his run blocking ability and to ameliorate his struggles with speedy or powerful pass rushers. Although Rankin does have experience snapping the ball, as he served as the emergency center for Mississippi State, coaches would do best to start Rankin at guard to get him used to the speed and rhythm of NFL lines. Fortunately, his athleticism and good instincts will give him a fighting chance at any point along the interior.

The Bengals recently included Rankin in their top-30 visits in advance of the draft, and they may very well be the team to draft him. In a relatively weak offensive tackle class, Rankin has his merits and will likely come off the board on day two.

Main Photo:Embed from Getty Images

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