80th: Matinas Rankin, OT Mississippi State
I’ll admit, my first reaction to the Rankin selection was disappointment. I felt there were better tackles on the board. However, the more I look into, the more I like the pick than I did initially. But I can’t get past the guys that were left on the board.
In 2015, Rankin was the to JUCO tackle and top-five JUCO guy overall. He took a redshirt in 2015. In 2016, he began to take the SEC by storm. At the end of it all, the NFL Draft Advisory Board gave him a 2nd round grade. He chose to go back to school.
2017 was a year hampered by injury. This, ultimately, was the likely cause for a lower draft stock. Many teams across the league were reported to have liked his athleticism. However, he was more widely projected as an interior guy, especially as a higher end option at center.
In spite of that, the team appears to like him at left tackle.
We’ll have to wait and see how Mike Devlin’s coaching pans out with Rankin. The jury is still out, time will tell if Rankin’s abilities will translate to tackle in the NFL. Or, if he’ll have to switch to guard.
Regardless, Rankin is a member of the Houston Texans. Here’s to hoping he pans out, if for nothing else than Deshaun Watson‘s sake!