Meet the Prospect: Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins

As 49ers.com runs down the list of top prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft, we continue our "Meet the Prospect" series with Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins.The Basics

There is no shortage of talented interior defensive linemen in this year's draft class. Oregon's DeForest Buckner, Alabama's Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson and Baylor's Andrew Billings all have a chance to join Rankins in the first round. NFL Network's Mike Mayock currently has Rankins as his second-best defensive lineman.

Rankins posted a career-best 58 tackles and earned second-team All-ACC honors as a senior in 2015. Over the past two seasons, Rankins has totaled 26.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. Scouts project that the defensive lineman is versatile enough to be successful in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense at the NFL level.Measurables

Height: 6-1

Weight: 299

Arm length: 33 3/8 inches

Hand Size: 9 3/8 inchesNFL.com Pro Comparison

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.Best College Game

Rankins terrorized Boston College the past two seasons. In 2014, the defensive lineman recorded three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and intercepted a pass. This past October, Rankins recovered a fumble and rumbled his way for a 46-yard scoop and score. You can see video of the big man's touchdown here.Combine Statistics

40-yard dash: 5.03 seconds

Vertical jump: 34.5 inches

Bench press: 28 reps

Broad jump:  118.0 inches

3 cone drill: 7.44 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.59 secondsMock Draft Connections

NFL Media's Charles Davis – No. 11 overall pick (Chicago Bears)

ESPN's Mel Kiper – No. 12 overall pick (New Orleans Saints)

NFL Media's Lance Zierlein – No. 14 overall pick (Oakland Raiders)What the Media is Saying…

"He was nearly unblockable during one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl due to his quickness off the whistle and powerful arms to drive blockers backward. He used a variety of hand moves to swat jabs and swim past the blocker's shoulder. Also impressed during 11-on-11 reps due to his ball awareness, and his ability to read, detach himself from the block and make plays in the backfield." – CBS Sports' Dane Brugler

"Rankins has solidified himself as one of the best interior defensive linemen in this class with a standout performance at the Senior Bowl and a solid showing at the combine. During the Senior Bowl, he showed explosiveness in one-on-one pass-rush drills and stuffed the run during 11-on-11. Rankins is a load for any O-lineman to handle because of his rare combination of quickness and power." – ESPN's Todd McShay

Fun Fact

Rankins has seen his stock skyrocket after being considered a middle of the road prospect out of high school. The defensive lineman was a three-star recruit out of high school, which is nothing to scoff at, but it certainly wasn't an indicator that he'd be a top-15 pick in the NFL Draft. The former 43rd-ranked prospect from the state of Georgia has proven many doubters wrong during his journey to the NFL.

Must-see Video

Social SpotlightHere's a video of Rankins breaking through a double team and getting to the quarterback.

Big fan of Sheldon Rankins thus far. https://t.co/QWZVbt8Zp1 — Brendan Leister (@BrendanLeister) March 25, 2016

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