Bills fan or not, linebacker Reggie Ragland is ready to eat this year. The beast himself missed all of last year after tearing his ACL weeks before the regular season. He was taken in the second round of the 2016 draft. Ragland was originally a first round prospect until it was discovered he had an enlarged aorta, which made him drop out of the first round.
I was super excited about this pick because the Bills found a linebacker that can be the leader of the defense. Once it was reported that he tore his ACL, I’m pretty sure the Bills fan base was upset. First round draft pick Shaq Lawson was already going to miss the first 6 games so when Ragland suffered his injury, it was certain that this was not a good sign for Buffalo.
If you are a Bills fan, expect a young and fresh playmaker that can hit. When I say he can hit, I mean he can knock someone into next month. Lookup highlights from Ragland’s playing days at Alabama and you will find a determined man who shows no mercy on anybody. He is a thumper. He can stop the run and take on any running backs that try to come towards him. The only problem with him will be adjusting to a 4-3 scheme. Ragland was drafted by Rex Ryan, who runs a 3-4 defensive scheme. With new head coach Sean McDermott running a 4-3, there is concern whether or not Ragland can play in the scheme. I think Ragland should adjust fine. He has the talent and tangibles to adjust to any kind of play the coaches want him at.
Last season before his injury, Ragland was expected to make an immediate impact for the Bills. The injury was a setback and it still could affect him. I don’t think it will, but you never know. He is the expected starting linebacker in McDermott’s defense, but he will need to show that he can play with the aggression that he has shown. Even if he doesn’t have an unbelievable season in 2017, expect Ragland to become the leader of the defense and help bring it back up as one of the best in the league.
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