Martinas Rankin

Texans’ Martinas Rankin Undergoes Surgery

The Texans traded away their first- and second-round selections in this year’s draft, leaving the three third-rounders in the class as the top rookie investments. It will now be a bit before the Texans can again gauge the development of these rookies.

A tackle out of Mississippi State, Martinas Rankin suffered a foot injury during rookie minicamp and needed surgery. He underwent that procedure and now may not be able to participate in training camp. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports the Texans expect Rankin to be ready by the start of the regular season.

Although Wilson reported Rankin agreed to terms on his rookie contract in May, he adds the No. 80 overall pick has yet to sign. He’s expected to once he passes a physical.

Rankin is part of a retooled Texans offensive front. The team signed Senio Kelemete, Zach Fulton and Seantrel Henderson before selecting Rankin. The latter may be in for some developmental time, especially after a surgery will deprive him of extensive offseason work this year.

Draft Pick Signings: 6/14/18

Here are today’s minor draft pick signings:

  • The Chiefs have signed third-round defensive lineman Derrick Nnadi. The Florida State product was one of the ACC’s standout defensive tackles in 2016 and 2017, averaging 51 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. The 6-foot-1, 317-pound rookie will compete with Justin Hamilton and Stefan Charles for the chance to backup free agent addition Xavier Williams.
  • The Texans have signed third-round offensive tackle Martinas Rankin, completing their draft class. The Mississippi State product had a breakout campaign in 2017, earning the Kent Hull Trophy (awarded to the best college offensive lineman in Mississippi) and first team All-ACC honors. With Julie’n Davenport and Seantrel Henderson penciled in as the Texans’ starting offensive tackles, Rankin will have to compete with Jeff AllenKendall Lamm, and David Quessenberry for playing time.

Texans Sign Entire Draft Class

As a busy Thursday for rookie signings winds down, the Texans don’t have any more work to do on this front. They reached agreements with each member of their draft class Thursday night, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Here’s the full rundown:

Having traded their first- and second-round picks in the deals for Deshaun Watson and Brock Osweiler, the Texans didn’t have as difficult of a time getting their class signed. However, they agreed to terms with three third-rounders, which hasn’t always been easy for teams because of vague CBA language regarding this round.

But Reid, Rankin and Akins are in the fold, and the Texans joined the Eagles among teams that have their full classes signed. Neither made first-round picks in this draft.

Draft Notes: McGlinchey, Edmunds, R. Smith

The 2018 offensive tackle class is setting up to underwhelm, as Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.net observes in his latest look at this year’s prospects. So far, most NFL clubs only rate one tackle — Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey — as worthy of a first-round pick, and given that he may be the only available tackle capable of starting on day one, his stock figures to rise even more as draft day approaches. Meanwhile, Orlando Brown (Oklahoma) is viewed as a right tackle, while Connor Williams (Texas) is only on some teams’ guard boards. Further down the list, Western Michigan’s Chukwuma Okorafor, Pittsburgh’s Brian O’Neill, and UCLA’s Kolton Miller are considered Day 2 selections, while Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State) isn’t believed to be a left tackle at the pro level, per Pauline.

Here’s more on the 2018 draft, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • With NFL teams searching for athletic linebackers, Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Teach) and Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State) are likely to come off the board earlier than many expect, according to Pauline. In fact, Edmunds is rising up draft boards so quickly that he may become a top-12 selection. However, the scouting combine will prove to be an important test for Edmunds, per Pauline, who says the former Hokie lacks “quick change-of-direction skills.” Vander Esch, meanwhile, is being compared to former Bears linebacker and 2018 Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, and most clubs believe he can be a three-down defender.
  • While Edmund and Vander Esch are drawing rave reviews, fellow linebacker Roquan Smith is trending in the other direction, reports Pauline. Given that the pass game now dominates the pro ranks, Smith’s problems playing man coverage against opposing running backs and tight ends could prove troublesome. However, Pauline says Smith can be effective when used in zone coverage, which should make the Georgia product viable for a good number of NFL teams.
  • Wake Forest edge rusher Duke Ejiofor underwent surgery for a torn labrum in late January, but Pauline doesn’t believe the operation will affect Ejiofor’s draft stock. Projected as a Day 2 pick, Ejiofor is expected to run a 4.75 40-yard dash despite sitting at nearly 270 pounds. Scouts are impressed by Ejiofor’s “explosiveness, power, and athleticism,” and given that his labrum injury occurred in October, teams can account for any drop in performance after that time.

Draft Notes: Mixon, Trubisky, Fournette

Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon was/is thinking about entering the 2017 draft, but since the video of him striking a woman has been released, GMs around the league have told people close to him that he won’t get drafted, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com writes. Beyond that, they say there’s even a chance he won’t be signed as a free agent and he may not even get a combine invite if he declares. At this point, Pauline says he should return to OU – if that’s even an option for him.

Just two weeks ago, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report heard that teams were “softening” on Mixon and the first round was still in reach for him. Apparently, teams are changing their tune after viewing the video.

Here’s a look at the latest draft news:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.