Every team in the NFL needs an absolute beast on the defensive side of the ball. The same goes for every SEC team and the University of Alabama is no different. Who is that defensive beast, you ask? No, its not A’Shawn Robinson, or Jarran Reed even. Its the man behind those two, Reggie Ragland. When you talk about the defensive captain and stalwart for the Crimson Tide you’re talking about Ragland.
Ragland is the epitome of an old school inside linebacker who’s not afraid to fill the running lanes and thump a running back with some serious force. He’s got deceptive sideline to sideline speed for a guy his size and he has adequate pass rushing abilities. Couple that with the fact that he’s extremely knowledgeable when it comes to taking proper tackling angles and rarely over commits when it comes to run pursuits makes him the perfect run defender. Ragland has the ability to play all three linebacker positions, but he’s most suited for the inside linebacker spot.
Now if there is a weakness for Ragland it would be his ability in coverage. As stated previously he’s an old school inside linebacker who’s primary concern is stopping the run at the line of scrimmage. He’ll play decent when it comes to underneath coverage against running backs, but don’t expect him to keep up with a crossing WR or even a TE down the seam. That’s not his game.
There are a good amount of teams that are interested in a player of Ragland’s ability. The ones who jump off immediately? The Packers, Lions, Raiders, and Ravens. The Packers need someone so they can stop moving Clay Matthews all over the place. The Lions need Ragland to sure up an emerging group of starting LBs in Tahir Whitehead and DeAndre Levy. The Raiders are looking to continuously revamp their defense and could really use an inside LB to be the play caller for the next 10 to 12 years. The Ravens need someone who can replace the loss of Courtney Upshaw as a strongside linebacker and create a tandem with another former Crimson Tide LB in C.J. Mosley. All great landing spots for the former Tide captain.
Let us know what you think! Is Ragland a boom or bust prospect? What team will draft him and why? Will he be an impact no matter the team who drafts him? Leave it in the comment section! Until next time, feel free to watch the highlight video and most importantly… Roll Tide!