Houston Texans: Sheldon Rankins player profile
The Houston Texans signed Sheldon Rankins to a one-year deal worth $9.75 million. Rankins is another one-year signing by Nick Caserio and the Texans, who have handed out a lot of one-year deals thus far in free-agency.
Rankins has spent the last two seasons with the New York Jets and enjoyed one of the better seasons in his career. He totaled a career-high 33 tackles and was a significant piece to a very good Jets defense. While one could argue there were better options with interior defensive linemen in free agency, Rankins is a solid addition and should help shore up the Texans' run defense in 2023.
Rankins' career numbers include 191 tackles, and 23.5 sacks, with 34 tackles for a loss. He was a high pick coming out of college. He struggled between 2019 and 2021 to stay on the field. Out of 38 games he played in, he started only four. Last season, he started all 15 games he played in.
Where does Sheldon Rankins come from?
Rankins played his college ball at Louisville and was drafted in 2016 by the New Orleans Saints with the 12th overall pick. He played 36 collegiate games, totaling 133 tackles, 18 sacks, and 31.5 tackles for a loss.
His college scouting report had him as one of, if not the top interior defensive lineman in his class. He was highly celebrated and it's debatable whether you think he's lived up to his 12th overall selection status; however, when we take a look at his career in the NFL, he's been a started defensive tackle on two different top-five defensive units, with two different teams. A team's interior defensive line is an integral part of those top-five finishes.
Based on the free agent signings this season of the Texans, it's very clear there is a very concentrated effort by head coach DeMeco Ryans and Nick Caserio to do something about the Texans' run defense in 2023.