Jets Could Target This Defensive Tackle in Free Agency

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One NFL writer thinks the Jets should sign Sheldon Rankins this offseason.

Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr picked one player that each team should target in free agency. Here's his explanation for why New York would benefit from adding this defensive tackle. 

Teams sleeping on Rankins will be sorely mistaken when the 2016 first-round pick stands out next year. Robert Saleh would love this finally healthy, three-technique DT, who, after recovering from Achilles issues early in his career, is poised to round into form.

Rankins, who turns 27 next month, has been with the Saints for five years since New Orleans picked him 12th overall in the 2016 NFL draft. 

In those five seasons with the Saints, the defensive tackle has accumulated 17.5 sacks, 116 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 44 hits on the quarterback. A good chunk of those numbers came during the 2018 season, Rankins' best year in the NFL, when the tackle set career-high numbers in every major statistical category including sacks (8.0).

While the Jets are expected to add an edge rusher or two in both free agency and the NFL draft, combining a player like Rankins with rising star Quinnen Williams in the middle of the defensive line could be a formidable combination. 

Rankins hasn't produced at the same level over the last few seasons—he's also only played in 10 and 12 games respectively across these last two years—but perhaps he can reignite his career in green and white playing for Robert Saleh's defense. 

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