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Houston Texans

Miss. St. OL Martinas Rankin a 3rd-rounder for Texans

The Texans took Mississippi State offensive lineman Martinas Rankin in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 80th overall selection, Rankin played left tackle for the Bulldogs. The 6-4, 308-pounder was a team captain at Mississippi State after transferring in from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2015. Rankin said he's capable of playing multiple spots on line.

"It's just something I always wanted to be able to do," Rankin said during a conference call with the Houston media. "I wanted to be able to do more than one thing. I knew it would help me get to this part of my life. I'm grateful for this opportunity."

The ability to play anywhere was very attractive to General Manager Brian Gaine and the Texans. When asked if Rankin would play left tackle in the NFL, Gaine pointed out the lineman's versatility.

"We see him as an offensive lineman," Gaine said. "He was a starting left tackle in the SEC, so my hope is he'll have the ability to do that. But we also believe that if he has to play guard, right side, left side, wherever we need him, that this guy has the versatility to do that."

Getting to block for quarterback Deshaun Watson was also a big perk of being picked by Houston, according to Rankin.

"I'm excited," Rankin said. "It's an opportunity I've been waiting for my entire life. I get to come into a great organization, and I get to come in and help protect a great young quarterback.

Earlier in the third round, the Texans nabbed Stanford safety Justin Reid with the 68th overall selection. The 80th overall pick came from Seattle in the trade for Duane Brown. The Texans also own the Seahawks' second round selection in 2019.

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