Saints sign 3 draft choices, including Rankins and Thomas

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says first round draft pick Sheldon Rankins, second-round choice Michael Thomas and seventh rounder Daniel Lasco have signed their rookie contracts.

Loomis, who announced the signings Monday, says all three are under contract for four seasons.

The 6-foot-1, 299-pound Rankins, a defensive tackle, was taken 12th overall out of Louisville. He had 133 tackles, including 31 1/2 tackles for losses and 18 sacks during his college career.

Thomas, who is 6-foot-3, 212 pounds, was among Ohio State's leading receivers the past two years and won a national championship with the Buckeyes in 2014.

Lasco, a running back out of California, was New Orleans' final draft pick.

The Saints have released running back Vick Ballard, defensive end Phillip Hunt and fullback Toben Opurum.

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