Martinas Rankin has the opportunity to earn a starting spot on the Houston Texans offensive line in 2019.
Drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, Martinas Rankin was selected by Texans general manager Brian Gaine with the intention of being one of the starting offensive linemen for the long term.
Rankin came from Mississippi State with the ability to play multiple positions across the offensive line and was inserted as the Texans left tackle for the early portion of his rookie season due to injuries. He started in three games at left tackle until he was relegated back to a reserve role. He was inserted back into the starting lineup and moved to the interior of the offensive line as the left guard against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Head coach Bill O’Brien revealed that they viewed Rankin as a guard at the NFL level against defenders, and reinforced that belief by selecting Tytus Howard and Max Scharping to play at offensive tackle in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Rankin has the opportunity to refine his technique and knowledge of the playbook during Texans offseason activities after he missed the initial activities in preseason and training camp recovering from foot surgery as a rookie. He will be in direct competition with Senio Kelemete who was the starter at left guard for the majority of last season after signing as a free agent from the New Orleans Saints.
The starting spot at left guard will be up for grabs between the both of them, and Rankin will have the opportunity to be one of the first lineman drafted under Gaine to be the long term starter as they continue their pursuit of building an offensive line capable of protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson.