Home > News > Sports > NFL > 2016 NFL Draft: Reggie Ragland selected 41st by Buffalo Bills

2016 NFL Draft: Reggie Ragland selected 41st by Buffalo Bills

Reggie Ragland - LB, AlabamaPick Analysis


Reggie Ragland – LB, Alabama

Pick Analysis

The Bills continue to build their defense after taking Shaq Lawson last night. Ragland is one of the top ILBs in this draft, and, coming from Nick Saban’s programme, should adapt quickly to Rex Ryan’s defensive schemes. Ragland will go a huge way to replacing the hole in the middle of the defense created when Kiko Alonso was traded last year. Ragland did pick up a medical red flag recently due to an enlarged aorta, but it shouldn’t affect his ability on the field. Ragland could effectively become Rex Ryan’s new Bart Scott. (Gur Samuel)

Player Analysis

Once again it will be another year with a draft packed full of underclassmen who have chosen to leave school early.  For many though, the decision to stay can be a highly profitable one, as is the case for the Crimson Tide’s big-hitting middle linebacker Reggie Ragland.  Most likely a day 2 selection had he taken the leap in the 2015 draft, his outstanding senior season, in which he took his game to a whole new level, ought to see him go perhaps as high as the middle of the first round.  I don’t consider him to be anywhere near as good as C.J. Mosley before him, whose instincts were off the charts, but his understanding and awareness have certainly improved greatly with another year of experience.  Though he featured in all 13 games during his sophomore season, he wasn’t a full time starter until his junior campaign in 2014, and now has completed his second year starting as a national champion and a high impact player on one of the best defences of recent years in college.  The fact that he has shown such steady progress over the past three seasons is something that will be highly encouraging to scouts, that the progression can continue over time at the next level as well.  There’s no doubt that he has everything looked for from a physical perspective.  Ragland not only is one of the heavier linebackers in this class, he brings power and strength too, and though he is better moving downhill, can cover laterally to the sidelines too.  He’s not going to ever be great in coverage, but he can still impact the play on obvious passing downs as well, where he moved down to the line as an additional pass rusher, bringing the same overpowering physicality and motor channelled into a bull rush.  A little bit of additional versatility is never a bad thing.  Another trait for the pro column with Ragland is toughness.  In one of the key games of the season against then-ranked #2 LSU, Ragland played and helped secure the win despite only days earlier having surgery on a broken bone in his left hand.  After 93 tackles in his breakout junior season, Ragland hit triple digits his final year with the team, totalling 102 tackles along with 6.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks and 7 pass breakups.  His consistent performance over the season for the national champs earned him SEC defensive player of the year and a unanimous first team all-American selection.  (Rebecca Rennie)

Grade A


2016 NFL Draft: Reggie Ragland selected 41st by Buffalo Bills

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