2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Martinas Rankin

  • Martinas Rankin, 6-4/308

  • Offensive Tackle

  • Mississippi State

  • Martinas Rankin Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Good athlete
  • Quick feet
  • Agile pass protector
  • Ability to mirror speed rushers
  • Agile in space
  • Athletic ability for his size
  • Great fit in a zone-blocking system
  • Can hit blocks at the second level
  • Strong hands
  • Smart
  • Adjusts well to blitzers, stunts
  • Versatile
  • Could play guard or center
  • Versatile
  • Excellent character
  • Work ethic

  • Weaknesses:
  • Has to get stronger
  • Knocked to the ground too much against power
  • Doesn’t have long arms

  • Summary: Rankin started out his career at junior college before landing with Mississippi State. After redshirting in 2015, Rankin had a strong debut for the Bulldogs as a junior, starting at left tackle. He received a second-round estimation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board for the 2017 NFL Draft before deciding to return for his senior year. As a senior, Rankin was steady for Mississippi State. He was unable to work out at the combine, but scouting sources from across the league like Rankin’s athletic ability and speed.

    Rankin is good at sustaining blocks in pass protection. While he needs to get stronger in his upper body and his base, he does have strong hands that help him to keep pass-rushers engaged and not let them break free. Rankin is a good athlete with quick feet and the ability to kick slide with speed rushers. Rankin is very good at defending the edge from fast pass-rushers. He is agile in space and shows a nice ability to adjust. Rankin is a smart blocker who quickly picks up blitzers or stunts. Rankin should become an asset as a pass protector early in his NFL career.

    In the ground game, Rankin is good to hit blocks in space and fire to the second level. He can occupy his defensive ends, but he isn’t a true bulldozer who blasts defenders off the line. He would be a good fit in a zone-blocking system.

    There is only one negative to Rankin’s game: a lack of strength. Stronger defenders can knock him on the ground too much, and he doesn’t have the power to knock them off the ball. Rankin has to get stronger for the NFL, but sources at multiple teams rave about his character and work ethic. So teams are confident that he will work hard in the weight room to fix that. If he does, Rankin will be a complete player and could be a good starting left tackle.

    For the NFL, Rankin may need a year to develop, but he could become a good starting left tackle. He also has the versatility to move inside to serve as a guard or center. In speaking to team sources, they have Rankin graded on the second day and many teams expect to him be a second-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Travelle Wharton. Team sources have compared Rankin to Wharton, which makes a lot of sense. They are nearly identical in size as Rankin could get to Wharton’s (6-4, 315) once Rankin adds some strength in a pro strength and conditioning program. Wharton played left tackle at South Carolina, but ended up being a quality guard for the Panthers during a 9-year career. The versatile Rankin could move inside and follow that same path, or Rankin could remain at tackle.

    NFL Matches: Jacksonville, New England, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Denver, Miami, Arizona, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Houston

    There are a lot of teams that could be a fit for Rankin in the 2018 NFL Draft. Rankin could find a home with one of the playoff teams. The Jaguars’ offensive line could still get better and more talented. Rankin could compete for the Jacksonville line at right tackle to replace Jeremy Parnell. New England lost Nate Solder in free agency, so Rankin could interest the Patriots as a replacement.

    Philadelphia needs another tackle of the future to pair with Lane Johnson. Johnson could go to left tackle to replace aging veteran Jason Peters with Rankin being the starting right tackle.

    Joe Thomas retired, leaving the Browns in need of new starter at left tackle, so it could be possible that they would think of Rankin for one of their second-day picks. It could be too high to take him in Round 2, but at the top of the third, Rankin would be appropriate.

    Denver could use more offensive line help. The Broncos could bookend Garett Bolles with Rankin on the right side.

    The Dolphins need help on the line and might not keep Ja’Wuan James for the long term. Miami could draft Rankin on the second day and start him out at guard. If James isn’t in the long-term plans, then Rankin could move to right tackle to form a tandem with Laremy Tunsil.

    Arizona’s offensive line was a mess in 2017. If the Cardinals take a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Rankin could make sense for them as an offensive line upgrade on Day 2.

    Baltimore could use more competition on the inside of the line and right tackle. Rankin could be a competitor for the Ravens.

    Even after trading for Cordy Glenn, Cincinnati could look to do more to improve its offensive line, so Rankin could be in play as competitor for the organization at right tackle or guard.

    The Texans have three third-round picks and need offensive line help badly. Rankin could interest new Houston general manager Brian Gaine to be a potential starting left tackle.


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