The Houston Texans have selected Martinas Rankin in Round 3 — 80th pick — in the NFL Draft. How will this have an effect on the team as a whole? What about potential? Let’s take a look and examine further.
With the 80th pick in Round 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select:
The 6’5,” 315-pound offensive lineman with a terrific 33.75″ arm length and large 10.1″ hands will make this guy a solid addition to the Houston Texans offensive line. He’s certainly the epitome of versatility, having played every position on the offensive line so the franchise has a gunner in what they’ve just acquired.
With the tremendous amount of girth that he has, he’s an mighty and explosive player with his strongest suit going to run blocking. This is something the Texans lacked throughout 2017 with Lamar Miller not nearly getting the production that he was able to accomplish in 2016. His gains were short-lived and that was because of the piss-poor play of the line.
This man looks like he could be one of the answers to improve the team’s ground game for 2018. Although I wouldn’t expect Deshaun Watson to run as much as he did last season to pick up yards, it’s good to know that a guy like Rankin could be in the ranks to help out.
Rankin will likely get a lot of playing time right away — especially if he has a good training camp performance — to shore up the ineptitude that this troubled unit emanated last season.
The consensus is that his strongest suit is his strength and the weakness is his footwork. That’s not a tall order for offensive line coach Mike Devlin, one of the few holdovers from Bill O’Brien‘s original staff from 2014.
Pro Football Focus gave him a passing grade of a 71.2.
He also worked his way up the ranks of the collegiate levels, having not been highly recruited out of high school. But after an impressive run at Mississippi Gulf Coast back in 2015, he received a plethora transfer offers from Florida, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ohio State and Ole Miss before setting his sights on being a Bulldog.
I absolutely love stories like these and I’m positively rooting for his success out on the football field just because of that story. A man like that has no choice but to not fail.
Here’s what the experts had to say:
SportsTalk 790’s Jayson Braddock:
"“Rankin was the top junior college offensive tackle prospect nationally (a top-five overall recruit) after a successful two years at home-state Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He waited a year to get on the field, redshirting the 2015 season. His play in 2016 as the team’s full-time starter at left tackle, however, earned the respect of scouts and media alike. Despite starting just nine of 10 games played in his senior year at left tackle due to a high ankle sprain suffered against Auburn, Rankin was a first-team All-SEC pick in 2017. Rankin’s length and lateral agility made him a tough blocker to beat on the outside, and he brings a strong punch and active feet in the run game, as well.”"
I don’t want to necessarily say he’s a guy to plug in immediately but the Houston Texans may have no choice to do so if the depth at the position is thin but we’ll see. If he’s expected to start at left tackle as Braddock alludes to, may heaven help us as he didn’t see much time at that position and isn’t talked about highly of in draft analysis circles about his ability to be a NFL-caliber tackle.
The bottom line is that he can play ALL THREE positions and if they can get acceptable productivity out him, then the front office must feel that they’ve accomplished their goal.
Rankin allowed 30 hurries, nine quarterback hits and eight sacks in his three-year career with Mississippi State through 1,035 snaps. Of those snaps, 721 of those were run-blocking and 583 were on the passing front.