Draft Prospect Outlook:
Techician at the left tackle spot at Mississippi State. Sinks his hips and strikes first from a wide base in pass protection, which almost always led to him stymieing different types of rushers. Needs to add weight to play on tackle in the NFL. Impressive leg churn and grip. Rarely caught off balance. Could kick inside to guard. Doesn't wow athletically but NFL-ready from fundamental standpoint.
Martinas Rankin went from a lightly-recruited, full qualifier out of high school to the nation’s No. 1 junior college offensive tackle in 2015. Rankin earned offers from Florida, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ohio State and Ole Miss before picking Mississippi State after an All-American season at Mississippi Gulf Coast. Despite his highly-regarded talent, Rankin didn’t play his first year on campus with the Bulldogs and was redshirted. In year two, Rankin became a starter by the fourth game of the season and started the last 10 games at left tackle. He earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after a win over Texas A&M and earned team captain honors heading into his senior year.
Rankin missed three games in 2017 with a high ankle sprain suffered in the Auburn game early in the year. Despite that injury, he helped pave the way for a school-record 3,272 yards rushing and MSU led the SEC in least amount of sacks on the year with 13. The versatile lineman could play guard or tackle on the next level and was named to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. - Robbie Faulk