Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins has been the “IT” player leading up to this year’s 2016 NFL Draft. Rankins won’t be in attendance for Thursday’s 1st Round, but he won’t have to wait until Friday’s 2nd round to hear his named called.
Rankins has been projected as high as #4 to the Dallas Cowboys and while we believe that is maybe a little too early for Sheldon he’s unlikely to last beyond the 1st 20 selections.
UofL Football has had Four 1st round Selections over the past two drafts starting with the 2014 draft when the New York Jets selected Calvin Pryor in the 1st Round. From there Marcus Smith was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles and Teddy Bridgewater was selected by the Minnesota Vikings. Last year the Cards had just one player picked in the 1st 32 when DeVante Parker was taken by the Miami Dolphins with the 14th overall pick.
Rankins will be Louisville’s 15th NFL Draft Selection over the past 3 drafts. 10 Cardinals were taken in last year’s draft and 4 Cardinals were taken in the 2014. Following Louisville’s 2013 Sugar Bowl win, the Cards had zero players drafted in the 2013 Draft & returned a series of contributors throughout its freshman to junior classes setting the stage for this most recent run of success during Draft weekend.
Last year’s contracts from the #4 pick to the #20 pick ranged from values of $22.6M to $9.3M. So tomorrow is likely going to be a very lucrative day for Sheldon.
We are also keeping an eye on James Burgess, Aaron Epps, Pio Vatuvei and John Wallace to see where they may land in the draft & post draft process.