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First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp Sheldon Rankins arrived in New Orleans ready to work. Widely heralded by the Saints’ veteran players as exactly what this defense needed out of the draft, Rankins took the field ...

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Old 05-15-2016, 02:50 PM   #1
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First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

Sheldon Rankins arrived in New Orleans ready to work.

Widely heralded by the Saints’ veteran players as exactly what this defense needed out of the draft, Rankins took the field this weekend for his first NFL minicamp under the weight of expectation, both from the fan base and from teammates excited about the kind of pass-rush pressure he can provide.

Four practices into an NFL career is too early to draw any long-term conclusions about his ability to live up to the No. 12 pick in the draft, but Rankins has already made a good impression.

“It’s hard for those guys in the front because we are not in pads, we are just in the helmets,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He is a quick study and handling the install well, and he is in shape.”

Being in shape is no easy task two weeks after the draft.

For that reason, the Saints expect some players to open the first real practices of their NFL careers in less-than-perfect condition. New Orleans’ first-round pick in 2015, offensive lineman Andrus Peat, had trouble acclimating physically all the way into training camp last season.

“We try not to make any assumptions when they get here,” Payton said. “Marques Colston, during that first rookie camp, he struggled; but by the time training camp came around, he was with it. You just try to pay attention to each guy and make sure he holds up. They have to be available to evaluate them.”

Rankins, on the other hand, showed up at the other end of the spectrum.

A first-round talent with a reputation as a hard worker, Rankins immediately made an impression on the Saints coaching staff when he took the field, making plays in the New Orleans heat and chasing hard after the football despite carrying 300 pounds on his frame.

“Once you’re done with pro day, things like that, you need to try to go back to training for your position,” Rankins said. “Hitting bags, change-of-direction stuff. You try to get back into football movements instead of track movements.”

The New Orleans coaching staff was obviously pleased with Rankins’ condition.

But the Saints weren’t surprised.

Beyond his explosive ability on the football field, Rankins checked all the character boxes in the pre-draft process. A self-described quiet, reserved man who spends most of his time focused on football, Rankins has a reputation as an excellent leader, hungry to get better.

“I think one of the biggest things, aside from his athletic ability and aside from what we saw from a production standpoint and the way that he plays football, I think he is a real mature young man,” defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said. “He has a little bit of a feel for what is going to be expected of him and what we anticipate out of him. He has done a good job in this rookie camp of really working.”

Being in shape may seem like a small piece of the puzzle, but Rankins has already eliminated one obstacle that could keep him from being able to contribute heavily as a rookie. Now, he can focus on picking up the scheme and learning NFL technique, rather than worrying about getting through fatigue in the Saints’ summer practices.

That’s how Rankins operates. Eliminate everything that could keep him from reaching his full potential.

“I’m here to play football,” Rankins said. “That’s what I love to do and what I’m going to continue doing. Everything outside of that can wait.”

...

Sheldon Rankins making an early impression with Saints | The New Orleans Advocate — New Orleans, Louisiana


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Old 05-15-2016, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

Is this a dream? This guy sounds perfect!! He actually came into camp in shape!! Plus he acknowledged that after your Pro Day you go back to training. This is why The Ex Bear GM Angelo said that this guy is the perfect prospect for an Organization. We Got a Good One Boys!!
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Old 05-15-2016, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

He just gets it. I love it!
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

Future face of the defense?
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:27 PM   #5
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Re: First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post
Future face of the defense?
I don't think so. I think he sets the table for everyone else to feast. Even the best DT's go unnoticed by the masses.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:20 PM   #6
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Re: First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

Already acting like a professional

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Old 05-15-2016, 10:31 PM   #7
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Re: First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

Championship
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:25 PM   #8
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Re: First-round pick arrives in shape, ‘a quick study’ at minicamp

2016 Saints Rookie Minicamp

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