The New York Jets have added even more pass-rush juice to their front-seven through former Saints DT Sheldon Rankins.
The #Jets are making another add to their defense: DT Sheldon Rankins. The 12th overall pick in 2016 has agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $17 million, source says.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 21, 2021
Rankins, who will turn 27 in April, checks in at 6-foot-2 and 305 pounds. A first-round pick (12th overall) out of Louisville in 2016, he is a very solid interior pass rusher, owning a career pressure rate of 8.6% (2020 average for interior defensive linemen: 7.0%). New Orleans primarily used him on passing downs, as a whopping 68.6% of his career defensive plays came against the pass.
Rankins will typically line up at the 3-technique or 4i-technique positions, but he is capable of lining up anywhere on the interior defensive line. He’ll play more nose tackle and 1-tech than he will out on the edge at 5-tech.
The Jets were already loaded on the defensive line with Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi, and John Franklin-Myers. Rankins adds even more upside to the group, increasing its chances of becoming one of the most dominant units in the league.
This addition raises questions about where Franklin-Myers will fit into the defense. Rankins’ presence will likely mean Franklin-Myers – who played 5-tech with the Rams before transitioning to the interior with the Jets – will be playing more on the edge, but exactly how much? With no starter penciled-in at the spot opposite Carl Lawson, do the Jets see Franklin-Myers as their full-time answer? Or, will Franklin-Myers simply rotate outside to provide above-average size at DE on some running downs (in which case he would be replaced inside by Rankins) while staying inside on some passing downs?
No matter how the orange is sliced, the bottom line is this – you can never have enough depth, versatility, or pass-rush talent on the defensive front, and Rankins adds even more of all three to an already-strong unit.
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