6 free-agent defensive linemen the Vikings could sign in 2024

Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins
Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Free-Agent Defensive Lineman No. 4

Sheldon Rankins

2023 Team: Houston Texans

The Houston Texans were one of the feel-good stories of the 2023 season. Despite having a rookie head coach and a rookie starting quarterback, they managed to earn 10 victories in the regular season and one win in the playoffs as well.

Sheldon Rankins was part of that Houston team and he played his position well.

During his first year in Texas, Rankins had 37 combined tackles and six sacks. His sack total was the second-highest of his career after getting eight in 2018.

Rankins was the 12th overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He spent five years in the Big Easy before playing two seasons with the New York Jets.

During his career, the 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive tackle has 228 combined tackles, 29.5 sacks, 43 tackles for loss, 68 quarterback hits, three fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown, five forced fumbles, three passes deflections, and one interception.

Rankins uses his size well and has the power to blow back opposing blockers. PFF gave him good grades for his pass rushing, although he needs some work in run stoppage.

Rankins would be a very solid addition to the Vikings’ interior defensive line.