Sheldon Taylor Rankins is an American football defensive tackle for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Louisville.
He was drafted in the first round (12th overall) by the New Orleans Saints in the 2016 NFL Draft and played for the team from 2016 to 2020.
At Louisville, Rankins was mostly a backup during his freshman and sophomore years, recording 22 tackles and four sacks.
As a junior, in 2014, Rankins started in all 13 games and had 53 tackles, eight sacks, and two interceptions. As a senior, in 2015, he had 58 tackles, six sacks, and a fumble return touchdown.
During his second season, Rankins started all 16 regular season games to help a scoring defense go from 31st in the NFL to tenth in the league. Rankins recorded 16 solo tackles (26 total), one forced fumble, one interception, and one pass defense.
In 2018, Rankins started all 16 games and recorded 40 tackles and eight sacks, which was second best on the team behind Cameron Jordan.
In the divisional round of the playoffs, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Rankins suffered a torn Achilles and was placed on injured reserve on January 15, 2019.
On April 24, 2019, the Saints picked up the fifth-year option on Rankins’ contract. He was placed on injured reserve on December 11, 2019, with an ankle injury.
He finished the season with 10 tackles and two sacks through 10 games. On November 6, 2020, Rankins was placed on an injured reserve with a knee injury.
He was activated on December 5, 2020. On March 23, 2021, Rankins signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the New York Jets.