NFL Hot Press: Reggie Ragland Impressing Evaluators

Reggie Ragland Impressing Evaluators

Updated Oct. 22, 2015
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

When Alabama lost star linebacker C.J. Mosley to the NFL, many thought that replacements Trey DePriest or Denzel Devall would be the players who would step up to be the headliner of the Crimson Tide defense. However, it was Reggie Ragland that took over in 2014 and has continued his excellent play this season. NFL evaluators are taking notice, and sources from multiple teams have told us that Ragland has turned himself into a coveted prospect.

Sources say that Ragland is not a special athlete, but he’s just a really good football player. He has instincts and toughness, and he brings a real physical presence to the middle of the defense. Multiple teams said they felt that when the final draft boards are assembled, Ragland would be deemed worthy of a pick as a first-rounder in the back half. There are a number of teams that have taken a liking to Ragland, and if he stays consistent he could end up being a late first-round pick.

In 2014, his first season as an every down player, Ragland recorded 95 tackles, 10.5 for a loss, three passes broken up, one interception, one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks on the year. The 6-foot-2, 254-pounder was a physical in-the-box run defender who was perfectly suited to defending the running offenses of the SEC.

This year, Ragland has continued to perform well. In seven games he has 59 tackles with three passes breakups, two sacks and two forced fumbles. Ragland has shown versatility as he has rushed off the edge as a defensive end in obvious passing downs while also showing improved coverage skills in pass defense. He performed well against good receiving tight ends from Ole Miss (Evan Engram) and Arkansas (Hunter Henry).

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