Martinas Rankin

Chiefs Sign WR Darrius Shepherd, Cut OL Martinas Rankin

The Chiefs are swapping an offensive lineman for a wideout. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed wide receiver Darrius Shepherd and released offensive lineman Martinas Rankin.

Shepherd, a 2019 undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State, spent the first two seasons of his career in Green Bay, where he appeared in 14 total games. The wideout finished his Packers career with six receptions for 47 yards and a pair of fumbles. The 25-year-old also contributed on special teams, returning 20 kickoffs for 374 yards.

The Chiefs certainly aren’t lacking for receivers; the team is currently rostering 15 players (including Shepherd) at the position. In other words, the latest acquisition’s best chance of seeing the field would probably be on special teams, although it’d be tough to knock off Mecole Hardman as the team’s top returner (not to mention Tyreek Hill waiting in the wings).

Rankin, a 2018 third-round pick by the Texans, was acquired by the Chiefs in the 2019 trade that sent Carlos Hyde to Houston. The lineman started five of his six games at left guard in 2019, but he was sidelined during Kansas City’s run to a championship. Rankin only saw time in one game in 2020, and he saw a limited number of special teams snaps during the 2020 postseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/16/20

We’ll put all of today’s minor moves here:

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans 

Fortunately it looks like all these COVID-19 list placements were due to contacts and not positive tests, meaning the Chiefs will likely have both of their starting tackles available on Sunday assuming they don’t test positive between now and then.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/10/20

We’ve got a long list of all the minor transactions from the last day or so:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Waived: DL Ron’Dell Carter
  • Promoted: WR DeMichael Harris

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/11/19

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed on IR: T Martinas Rankin
  • Signed off Colts’ practice squad: T Jackson Barton

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Claimed off waivers from Titans: OL Aaron Stinnie
  • Waived: C Nate Trewyn

Chiefs To Send Carlos Hyde To Texans

The Texans will have an experienced running back headed their way. The Chiefs reached an agreement to trade Carlos Hyde to the Texans in exchange for offensive lineman Martinas Rankin, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Houston will address the league’s thinnest backfield position, adding a seasoned starter to its mix. The Texans were looking for running back help on the trade market, and they found it in the form of a player the Chiefs were set to release. The Chiefs signed Hyde earlier this offseason, but he was likely set to miss their 53-man roster.

Hyde spent 2018 with the Browns and Jaguars, being traded midseason. He initially signed a multiyear deal with the Browns, but the Jaguars released him after last season. The Chiefs added Hyde but will go with younger backs Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson behind holdover starter Damien Williams.

A former 49ers second-round pick, Hyde posted back-to-back 900-plus-yard seasons in 2016 and ’17. He totaled 1,288 yards from scrimmage for the ’17 49ers, scoring eight touchdowns. The 28-year-old back will join Duke Johnson in Houston.

Rankin was a 2018 third-round pick who made four starts with Houston last season. He will be set for a depth role in Kansas City.

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 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 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: