Saints sign No. 12 overall pick Sheldon Rankins

  • By Tyler Dragon
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The New Orleans Saints struck a four-year deal with their first-round pick Sheldon Rankins on Monday, the team announced. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Rankins' contract is worth $12.8 million.

Rankins was selected No. 12 overall by New Orleans in 2016 NFL Draft. The Saints are hoping the defensive tackle out of Louisville shores up an anemic defensive line that struggled to get to the quarterback and stop the run. Coach Sean Payton's defense allowed an NFL-worst 476 points last season.

The defensive tackle recorded 133 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and 18 sacks in 46 games at Louisville. Rankins likely will be in a position battle with John Jenkins to play along with Nick Fairley on the interior of the Saints' D-line.

New Orleans also announced the signings of second-round wide receiver Michael Thomas and seventh-round running back Daniel Lasco.