New Orleans Saints 2016 NFL Draft Profile: Reggie Ragland
While the New Orleans Saints seem to have a solid foundation in place at the linebacker position after last year’s draft and the most recent free agency, Alabama’s Reggie Ragland could potentially give them one of the deepest and most tantalizing units in the National Football League.
We continue our New Orleans Saints draft profile coverage with Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, arguably the best inside linebacker in the draft who will very likely become a franchise player at the next level.
Weight: 247 LBS
Arm length: 32 inches
Hands: 9 7/8 inches
40-yard dash: 4.72 seconds
Vertical: 31.5 inches
Broad jump: 116 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.28 seconds
Reggie Ragland is one of those franchise-type players. An SEC-bred, Nick Saban prodigy, Ragland switched to the ‘Mike’ spot in 2015 after starting at the ‘Will’ (could play there in the pros) in 2014.
Ragland has everything you want form a true inside linebacker. His old-school, hard-hitting style was an ideal fit for Alabama’s defense, and it will be for any team at the next level, including the New Orleans Saints.
With excellent tackling ability, great instincts, and a nose for the football, Reggie Ragland could be a star at the next level, as he is one the best players in this loaded draft class and the top player at the inside linebacker position.
Watch Reggie Ragland versus Arkansas. This guy is tough, he can tackle, he can cover, and he can make big plays:
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How he fits with the New Orleans Saints:
Despite adding a boatload of linebackers in free agency, the Saints could certainly use Reggie Ragland in the mix. His experience at both the middle and weakside make him a very intriguing prospect for the Black and Gold.
It’s uncertain how the Saints’ defense will be schemed in the approaching season, but head coach Sean Payton has expressed interest in the possibility of moving Hau’oli Kikaha to defensive end, which would slide Stephone Anthony over to strongside linebacker, leaving the middle open for the newly acquired James Laurinaitis.
The weakside, however, is still an area in question with the health of Dannell Ellerbe nothing guaranteed. With that previous experience plus his intriguing skill set, Reggie Ragland could be a fit. Or if the Saints wanted to switch back to a 3-4, he and Laurinaitis could shore up the middle.
Regardless of who the Saints pull the trigger on or how they approach scheming in the coming season, one thing is certain — Reggie Ragland is an impressive, young player who could play a big part in fixing this defense.