Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland has been a player who some have projected to the Washington Redskins with the 21st overall pick in the first round. I have been a little critical of Ragland's play for a few reasons. First, I feel he was protected in that defense by the best front in all of college football. Second, I feel he doesn't have the fluidity needed at the next level to excel in coverage. And finally, I don't think he's as athletic a player as is required in our 3-4 defense.
I have been breaking down film of many prospects starting in November of last year, and I have done a lot of research on Ragland, but because of some recent projections, I was forced to go back and re-evaluate my assessment on him.
I chose to focus on three different games from the 2015 season. I chose the Alabama vs Texas A&M game, because A&M runs an open spread offense, and I wanted to see how he played against this look. I then chose the Georgia game, because Georgia tends to be a bit more traditional pro-style offense. Finally, I looked at the Tennessee game, because the Vols incorporate a bit of both styles into their offense.
There were other games I looked at as well, such as the Wisconsin contest, where I though Ragland played his best game of the season, but I also took into consideration that Wisconsin was not a very good team, and their style of offense played to the defensive strengths of Alabama. Another contest I focused on was the National Championship game, but the offense of Clemson really negated the effectiveness of Ragland, so I chose not to profile that game in my article.
Below are some of the issues I see when I try to project Ragland at the next level. Now, don't get me wrong, the kid made some tremendous plays, and I refer to these as "splash plays", however I like to focus a lot on the "nuts and bolts" of the position, so below, you will see some of my critiques on where I feel his game struggles.