LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- "With the 12th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select Sheldon Rankins, defensive tackle, University of Louisville."

Those words from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday night forever changed the life of the former star Cardinal.

Rankins, who recorded 18 sacks in his Louisville career, makes it the third-straight year that a U of L player has been taken in the first round.

"I'm so happy for Sheldon, because you always hear the accolades about people, but when they say he's a better person than he is a player, he really fits that bill," U of L Athletics Director Tom Jurich said Tuesday I heard Bobby (Petrino) talking this morning, and he said, 'He's an expert at his position.' That's a great way to talk about Sheldon and discuss his potential. He's somebody who has really studied the game and worked extremely hard to become what he has, and I couldn't be happier for a fine, fine young man."

Last year, Devante Parker went 14th overall to the Miami Dolphins. And in 2014, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Smith and Teddy Bridgewater were all selected in the first 32 picks.

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