UofL's Rankins selected 12th by the Saints in NFL Draft - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

UofL's Rankins selected 12th by the Saints in NFL Draft

Sheldon Rankins, the University of Louisville defensive end, was selected No. 12 by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of Thursday night's NFL Draft in Chicago. (Source: UofL Football Facebook page) Sheldon Rankins, the University of Louisville defensive end, was selected No. 12 by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of Thursday night's NFL Draft in Chicago. (Source: UofL Football Facebook page)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Sheldon Rankins is heading to New Orleans. 

The 6-foot-2, 299-pound University of Louisville defensive end was selected No. 12 overall by the Saints in the first round of Thursday night's NFL Draft in Chicago. 

Rankins is the Cardinals’ fifth first-round pick over the last three drafts and 13th first-round selection in school history. 

“I’m extremely proud and excited for Sheldon Rankins on his selection this evening,” UofL head coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement. “Being a first round pick is a great accomplishment and a much-deserved honor. He has worked so hard to perfect his craft and he is one of the most complete football players I have ever coached. I wish him nothing but success as he makes the jump to the next level, and I thank him for his contributions to our program.”

Rankins, a native of Covington, Ga., was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection each of the past two seasons. Last season he earned second-team All-ACC honors after recording 59 tackles and six sacks. 

In 46 career games he totaled 133 tackles, including 31.5 for loss and 18 sacks. 

Rankins is in line for a big payday with his selection. Last year's No. 12 pick, Danny Shelton, signed a four-year, $11.7 million contract with a $6.7 million signing bonus.  

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