Martinas Rankin

OLT, Miss ST

6-4, 308, 

24 Reps, 33 3/4" Arms

Moving Backwards: Part VII. 

By TOM

He is a more natural OC, but he has a shot to play OLT in the NFL. But it has to be in the right system with a coach that believes in him. He has terrific initial quicks. Reacts to quick moves as well as any OT in this Draft. He short set quickly a lot. He is a beast blocking down on D-tackles. Great natural knee bender. He was an All-SEC pick. 

He won the Ken Hull Award. "If there is a young man that exemplifies what Kent Hull was known for both on the field and off the field, Martinas is all that and more," his co-OC and OL coach John Hevesy said. "Since the day he arrived in Starkville, he has developed into an outstanding player and a better teammate. Martinas has as bright of a future as anyone I have been around, whether it be at the next level on the field or in the business world." It is an award given to the best Offensive lineman in Mississippi. 

He needs work on his technique, but he has the feet and hands to be great in pass pro. "Just transitioning to understanding this is a job and this is my livelihood, and how I have to pay the bills," Rankin said. "At the same time, I am embracing it and it is something I've wanted my entire life. It is a dream and it's right there. It still hasn't hit me yet, but I am just embracing this process and taking it all in." He plays with great intelligence, and is seen as a guy who can run an O-line at OC.

He played OG, and many think he will be a Center in the NFL. "Just prove versatility and prove that I am willing to do what it takes to get on the field wherever I go," Rankin said. "I've heard it all and there is no specific position. They ask me which position I prefer, and I tell them I want to be a guy that can come in and play all five." But you draft him in the 1st or 2nd to play O-tackle, not to play in the interior. 

He plays with great balance and body control moving backwards. He is a great hand fighter moving backwards. He has a lot of traits you have to have to play OLT in the NFL, moving backwards. 

The reason he can play OLT in the NFL is because he has great quick feet, and is one of the best I've seen playing at arms length. His arms always end up fully extended on the rusher. Now I'm not saying he will be an All-Pro, because of his size and arm length. But his consistency punching, jabbing, and shoving off rushers as arms length with his consistent feet moving will allow him to at least be a solid back-up/emergency OLT.

He is so much better moving forward and blocking in run game. He is an elite sealer out on the edge. Great knack for getting low, and powering the big DL up and out of leverage. He might be the best run blocking OT in this Draft. He is certainly top five. He pops DLs up and out of balance consistently. It is amazing. 

Love his heavy hands. Nice feet getting outside to block on the Toss. I don't like the blocking scheme they had him do. It was too much based on trying to trick the defense, instead of just beating them. Mean and nasty player, when he stuns a rusher with his hands he then jumps on him and drive him into the turf.

I think he gets a shot at playing Tackle, and transitions inside if needs be. "Just transitioning and like understanding this is a job," Rankins said. "This is my livelihood, and this is how I have to pay the bills, but at the same time embracing it. This is something I have been wanting my whole entire life. It is a dream. It is right there. It still hasn't hit me yet, but I am just embracing this process and taking it all in." Terrific puncher. 

Monstrous run blocker. He hurts guys in the run game. That will really help him play OLT in the NFL. He might lose early to the speed rusher, but he will not lose late after he beats him up for a few quarters. I like how he slides back smoothly, and stuns rusher with his hands. He missed three or four games do to injury last season.

Additional Notes:

Mississippi: Nice heavy hands. Rarely kickslid last season. When he looses his feet he gets off balance and gives up a lane to the QB. He is a little small for an NFL OLT. Very nice bend, feet, and balance. Plays with great natural position, and knows when to punch and grab out of it. He can knock the DT off his feet blocking down. Some think he just doesn't have the length to play OLT in the NFL. He is terrific at latching onto shirt with his strong hands, and moving his feet to keep him between the QB and the rusher. 

Rankins Vs Georgia:

Easy slide outside to stuff the edge Guy who some think is a 1st Round pick (:01). He shows some quick feet again shuffling outside. But he needs better technique (:39).Shuffle, shuffle, punch (:47). Excellent seal block (:54). Watch the great kickslide back against speed (1:01). That is why I think he can play OLT in the NFL. 

This is why so many think he is an inside guy. He grabbed the big DT, and held him solidly in place until the RB was past him (1:15). He backpedals with some speed, but he won't be doing that in the NFL. That is a weird thing college teams do a lot of for some reason (1:21). He doesn't always have to kickslide back (1:30). He has nice strength in his pass pro.

He stepped outside to cut off the OLB. Then grabbed his shirt and danced with him (1:36). He can seal in space, like a OLG inside (1:44). He turned inside on the play action, and had no trouble recovering outside when the Edge guy started rushing when he read play action (2:06). Great look at the initial hit and the great recovery on the edge (2:14). That's why I think he can play OLT in the NFL. Though he is more Light than Solder, and Light is the outlier at his size. 

Tough to see, but he was the guy that knocked #13 back five yards (2:20). He turned in all the chaos, and hammered #17 to the ground like a drunken teenager (2:29). Smoothly moved backwards. He held great position and made it look easy stoning the big time speed rusher (2:33). Great hit and block on the backside (2:39). He moved quickly outside and hits the great edge guy (2:47). And pancaked him again. 

He stalemated big #78 at the point (2:55). Watch the little dance with his feet at he mirrors Davin Bellamy (3:02). Pass pro like an OLG (3:09). Stopped the inside move, and made it look easy (3:16). Nice impact with his hands on the Seal block (3:23). He short set here like an OG, and the OLB was dropping anyway (3:31). He turned and impacted the OLB up and out (3:45). When he gets low and impacts with power, he looks like a 1st Round pick.

He shuffled outside and stoned the rusher with his hands. But I want to see him slide again (3:51). He hits the DE, and then kickslides back. He still needs some work on his technique (3:23). He shows his athleticism moving outside to block on the numbers (4:15). He stepped forward, and then fought with the DE moving backwards (4:50). This is one of the hardest Drafts I can remember judging OLTs. It seems that they so rarely kickslid all season. I'm almost done breaking down the top five OLTs, and have barely seen them slide backwards in pass pro. I don't know if college football has changed, or this is one of the worst Drafts for OLTs I have ever seen. 

Nice suddenness bursting off the snap backwards. Then he does his normal great job of playing at arms length (4:58). Watch the great slide outside to pick up the OLB. Then the bail inside to misplay the stunt. Then the nice recovery to cut off the DT, just before he got knocked on his butt (5:06). I just don't understand that pass pro (5:14). He didn't move back an inch in pass pro?

He played with his hands out to wide sometimes (5:22). He has nice bend and balance, but he needs to move backwards (5:30). That is great pass pro for an OLG (5:42). That is great pass pro for an OC (5:50). He started the kickslide, but stopped. But he recovers his slide as the DT lopped outside (6:20). There's the slide (7:18). But then he lost his feet, and was beat. 

He got to high off the snap moving backwards. But then caught Carter and slid back nicely against his speed to power (7:52). He had to turn and bail, but watch the strong grip on the shirt that kept him under control (7:59). That's about the 7th straight Tape I watched where the best OLTs in the Draft just didn't kickslide consistently. 

Rankins Vs Georgia:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQquqySkZ1s

Rankins Vs LSU:

He would make a hell of a pulling Guard (:17). He shuffled back and outside, and cut off the OLB at the pass. But then got his hands slapped down and gave up the inside (:40). Shuffled outside again, only he played at arms length better this time (:54). Pass pro inside against the DT (1:09). He is better in pass pro inside. 

That is not a bad slide moving inside. Nice feet when his technique is good (1:18). He imitated the contact, instead of sliding. Then he shuffled back and won easy (1:35). Terrific first step back in kickslide. Then the nice impact on the double (2:45). Nice quick slide outside on the play action (3:07). Then he went into pass pro at arms length. That was good protection. 

Great job using his kickslide to move back a long way to get into position to end the rush (3:18). Great look at his quicks and suddenness (3:39). Nice hop outside to get in front of the edge rusher (4:02). Not a slide, but nice feet changing angle moving backwards (5:52). Nice look at him sliding back a little (5:58). He gets too high. But he stays in balance, and watch the punching hands. 

He moves forward into pass pro, which I hate. But then he slides back naturally after he stopped his initial burst (6:02). He slides back too quick against the big 5-tech. Then has to slow, and stoned him with his hands (6:22). He misplayed the pass pro, by getting too aggressive on the play action (7:02). But then watch the great bail and recovery. However, he had to over extend, and got spun off by the big guy. He needs work on his technique and kickslide. 

He stops moving backwards before he gets started again. But then watch the slide back and the power with his inside hand. then he stopped him as he absorbed the big shot to the face and neck (7:16). He shuffled outside. Watch the impact up that took the big guy out of his rush. He has great strength in the rush (7:51). He slid outside a little (8:01). He slid outside nicely (9:36). Then watch how he club him up, and kickslid back nicely.  

Slide baby slide! And then... stop (9:48). Great look at his slide here: light on his feet, balance, and hands (10:07). I love the way he run blocks the big DLs. Watch this great impact, not just back, but up as well. That is great run blocking (10:18). He is such a great foot athlete. He has to learn to move backward first in pas pro. His college system didn't do him any favors. But watch the initial power in his hands to stun the big DL at the line. Then his great feet moving backwards (10:07). Then his best NFL trait, playing at arms length. He is always holding off the rusher with his long arms, and his smooth feet moving. That is why he can play OLT in the NFL. 

Which brings us to the problem. He doesn't even short set most of the time. But recovers by extending his arms (10:57). You get to see some quicker feet as he shuffles inside and dares the big DL to go outside. Then the great punch to get the big guy off balance (11:16). He does a nice job stepping outside against the speed guy, and holding him off in space with his long arms (11:49). Watch the great balance and power as he has a great hand fight with the big DL moving backwards (12:16). He is more Light than Solder, which is a problem. Light was the exception to the rules at OLT. But Rankins has some great qualities moving backwards. If his arms are long enough he can start at OLT, with maybe some chipping on the edge. But what will make him a 2nd round pick is that he can play every O-line position, if only in emergency situations (like Mankins at OLT) in the NFL. 

Rankins Vs LSU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtqxN2Us_Cw

Rankin's Official Bio:

2017 First-Team All-SEC (Coaches)
2017 Second-Team All-SEC (Associated Press)
2017 Honorable Mention All-American (SB Nation)
2017 Campbell Trophy Semifinalist
2017 Kent Hull Award Winner
2016 SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week (vs. Texas A&M)
2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll
2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll 


CAREER: Proved to be one of the top offensive linemen in the SEC during his two years on the field at Mississippi State … Can play all positions but saw all of his game action at tackle … Signed with MSU in December 2014, enrolled for the spring 2015 semester and then redshirted in the fall of 2015 … Came to MSU as the nation’s top junior college offensive lineman … Played in 23 games with 18 starts with all starts coming at tackle … Worked at center exclusively in the spring of 2017 due to injuries to teammates … Two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a Dean’s List recipient who maintained a 3.3 GPA and was a semifinalist for college football’s top academic award as a senior … Selected as a team captain by his teammates prior to his final season.

2017 SENIOR SEASON: Became the first MSU offensive lineman since Gabe Jackson to earn Coaches first-team All-SEC honors … Winner of the Kent Hull Trophy as the state of Mississippi’s top offensive lineman, becoming the third Bulldog to do so … Also was an honorable mention All-American selection and a second-team Associated Press All-SEC selection … Selected as a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, considered the “Academic Heisman” … Played in 10 games with nine starts – all at left tackle … Did not play against BYU (10/14), Kentucky (10/21) and Texas A&M (10/28) due to an ankle injury which he suffered against Auburn (9/30) … Returned from injury against UMass but did not start … Started the final four games of the year but was injured in the first half of the TaxSlayer Bowl and did not return in the second half … When healthy was MSU’s most dominant offensive lineman, paving the way for a school record 3,272 rushing yards … Leader of a Bulldog offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the SEC and the fifth-fewest in the nation (13) … That total was the second-fewest allowed in school history and fewest since 1988 … Arguably best game of the year came against No. 11 LSU (10/23) when he paved the way for 285 rushing yards in the largest win for MSU in series history.

2016 REDSHIRT JUNIOR SEASON: Played in all 13 games and started the final 10 contests of the year at left tackle … MSU’s most dominant offensive lineman, playing in 857 snaps and protecting Nick Fitzgerald … Played a season-high 101 snaps against No. 4 Texas A&M and graded out a champion in the victory … Named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts against the Aggies as MSU did not allow a sack against one of the nation’s top defensive lines … Became the first Bulldog to take SEC honors since Ben Beckwith in 2014 … Had three knockdowns in the victory … For the year, paved the way for a record-setting MSU offense that rushed for 2,997 yards and allowed the second-fewest sacks in the SEC.

2015 JUNIOR SEASON: Redshirted as a junior after coming from the JUCO ranks … Named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

JUNIOR COLLEGE: The top junior college offensive lineman in America for the Class of 2015 … Came to MSU after playing for Mississippi Gulf Coast where he was coached by Chad Huff … Received four stars by 247Sports and ESPN.com and three stars by Rivals … Tabbed the No. 1 JUCO offensive tackle by 247Sports and the No. 5 JUCO player regardless of position … The No. 9 overall JUCO player by Scout.com … Named first-team all-region and All MACJC in 2014 … Recipient of the 2014 MACJC Most Valuable Lineman award.

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