Lions plan formal sitdown with DT Sheldon Rankins

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Fairhope, Ala. — Among the players the Lions planned to interview formally Tuesday night at the Senior Bowl was Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins.

The Lions will likely have informal or formal interviews with most of the prospects before Saturday’s game, and they could still talk to others at the combine.

The 304-pound Rankins is ranked the No. 6 defensive tackle and No. 37 overall prospect in the draft by CBS Sports. He had 14 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss the past two seasons for the Cardinals.

At 6-foot-1 and 5/8, Rankins said he tries to model his game after other shorter tackles like Tennessee’s Jurrell Casey, Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins and St. Louis’ Aaron Donald. In South team practice, he easily beat Michigan center Graham Glasgow with a spin move.

The Lions typically like defensive linemen who can attack, and Rankins thinks he’d fit in such a scheme.

“I feel like I’m a real good athlete for a guy my size,” he said. “I feel like I have great initial burst, quickness and use my hands pretty well.”