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Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins knew what he wanted to do after seeing Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald sack Drew Brees and force a fumble on the first play of a drive early in the ...

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Old 11-27-2016, 06:24 PM   #1
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Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald



New Orleans Saints rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins knew what he wanted to do after seeing Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald sack Drew Brees and force a fumble on the first play of a drive early in the second quarter Sunday.

"Now, I got to match it," Rankins said. "And I was able to do it."

Later in the second quarter, on the first play of a Rams drive, Rankins sacked Rams quarterback Jared Goff, forced a fumble, and the Saints recovered.

In many ways, Rankins' play mirrored the one from Donald about 5 minutes earlier in the game. The Rams started at the New Orleans 6 after Donald forced the turnover and scored a touchdown on the next play. The Saints recovered Goff's fumble at the Los Angeles 10 and scored a touchdown four plays later.


The biggest difference in the aftermath of the similar plays was the Rams' touchdown after Donald's sack and strip gave them a 14-7 lead New Orleans overcame on the next drive. After Rankins' play, the Saints took a 21-14 lead and never trailed again in a 49-21 victory.

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Donald, of course, has been creating such plays for three seasons in the NFL. Most people would agree he's the top defensive tackle in the league, and the Saints hope Rankins can provide similar impact from the interior.

Rankins obviously has a ways to go to reach Donald's level, but he said seeing Donald across the field did provide some extra motivation on Sunday.

"For me, it does, I'm not going to lie," Rankins said. "He's the pinnacle right now. He's the barometer to which a lot of three-techniques are measured. You saw today he had a hell of a game even in a loss."

Because they're the same height at 6 feet 1, Rankins received some comparisons to Donald before the draft, but the Saints rookie has tried to distance himself from those expectations because Donald is on another level compared to most players in the NFL.

Donald had the better statistical game with four tackles, two for loss, one sack and one forced fumble, but the Saints are glad to see their high-upside defensive tackle contributing how he has so far. Rankins had two tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in what was just his fourth game after missing the first eight weeks with a broken fibula.

"That's my young dawg, man. He's going to be good," Saints linebacker Craig Robertson said. "He's good now, but he's going to be even better."

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While Robertson was discussing Rankins, fellow linebacker Dannell Ellerbe chimed in, too.

"That boy is no rookie, man," Ellerbe said.

On the field, Rankins has quickly shown the traits the Saints liked when they drafted him 12th overall in April. Based on what Rankins said after the game, he's still displaying the off-field characteristics that earned him the label of being boring, which is a desirable tag for a prospect.

Asked how he planned to celebrate his first forced fumble, Rankins said, "Pizza and wings it is."

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Old 11-27-2016, 07:20 PM   #2
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

Yes, he's gonna be a stud
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:32 PM   #3
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

It's absolutely imperative that we keep the Fairley-Rankins-Davison trio together. I saw Rankins lining up all over the line today and it looked like his versatility allowed us to use a lot more three man fronts.
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:57 PM   #4
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

I have to admit...when he started the season late I had pretty low expectations for him for this season. I aired those sentiments here on B&G. And a few of you guys were saying he was gonna make an immediate impact and not to have low expectations. You were right! This kid is freakin good!! Glad I was wrong!!!
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

he could be a great one.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:04 AM   #6
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

On the field, Rankins has quickly shown the traits the Saints liked when they drafted him 12th overall in April. Based on what Rankins said after the game, he's still displaying the off-field characteristics that earned him the label of being boring, which is a desirable tag for a prospect.

Asked how he planned to celebrate his first forced fumble, Rankins said, "Pizza and wings it is."
See this is one of the things I love the most about the young players on this team. Cooks, Thomas, Rankins all behave like grown men, like professionals.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:55 AM   #7
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

keep the goal in mind and make me eat my words

"Rankins will be a good player but never will be a corner stone of the defense."

he has till his rookie contract expires. 4 to 5 year old crow taste best raw.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:59 AM   #8
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

Last season our DT's combined for a whopping 2 sacks all season and our defense was 31st against the run.

Through 11 games this season, our DT's have combined for 6.5 sacks and we're 12th against the run.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

Originally Posted by ChrisXVI View Post
Last season our DT's combined for a whopping 2 sacks all season and our defense was 31st against the run.

Through 11 games this season, our DT's have combined for 6.5 sacks and we're 12th against the run.
If you watch at the point of attack also you can see why we have a decent run defense, Fairley and Rankins busted through and stuffed them for no gain or a loss multiple times. Not to mention that Davison and Onyemata are also playing very well.

Onyemata was one step behind on the sack that Cam Jordan ended up getting.

After the initial contact, its refreshing to see the linebackers flying down and gang tackling, defense is being played with a lot of passion recently.

Our D line is no longer a liability.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:27 AM   #10
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Re: Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins wanted to match big play by Rams star Aaron Donald

Originally Posted by ChrisXVI View Post
Last season our DT's combined for a whopping 2 sacks all season and our defense was 31st against the run.

Through 11 games this season, our DT's have combined for 6.5 sacks and we're 12th against the run.
Rankins has 2 of those DT sacks, in 4 games...
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