Buffalo Bills Draft ILB Reggie Ragland In Second Round
On Friday night, the Buffalo Bills drafted ILB Reggie Ragland in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft on Friday night. In order to get the linebacker from Alabama, they moved up from #49 to #41 in the second round of the draft by trading with the Chicago Bears.
Buffalo gave up a pretty hefty sum to move up only 8 spots in the second round. The cost was this year’s 4th rounder at 117 overall and next year’s fourth round pick as well. While the cost of the trade was pretty high when a player of Ragland’s caliber is available that late in the draft it’s worth it to move up.
The Bills would have considered Ragland in the first round if defensive end Shaq Lawson wasn’t available so that shows you the type of value they got when they took him 22 spots later. Despite the trade, Buffalo still has one more fourth round pick in this year’s draft at #139 overall.
Ragland was one of 23 players to make a pre-draft visit to the Buffalo Bills. As we pointed out in our article on the topic:
"He’s an extremely physical player who is great at stopping the run. He’s not only smart and instinctive, but he also is known to hustle and get dirty just to make a play. He’s the best inside linebacker in the draft."
Ragland will compete with both Preston Brown and newly signed Zach Brown for a starting inside linebacker role for the Bills this season. I’d put my money on Ragland being one of the starters and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Zach Brown beat out Preston Brown for the other starting spot.
Ragland is not a freak athlete like some of the other players and that could be why he fell so far in the draft. It’s easy to fall in love with measurables and extraordinary workout numbers, but when it comes down to it being able to play football is the only thing that matters and Ragland can ball for sure.
The Bills have crushed it in the draft so far by filling their two biggest needs in rounds one and two with likely starters in Shaq Lawson, who will start at outside linebacker in the Bills 3-4 opposite Jerry Hughes, and now Reggie Ragland at inside linebacker.
Doug Whaley mentioned that Rex Ryan was salivating yesterday at the thought of Lawson. I don’t want to know what he’s doing today after the addition of Ragland.
Whaley wasted no time cooing about how well the draft has gone for the Bills so far. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, General Manager Doug Whaley said “We started this draft with the ACC defensive player of the year and we decided to back it up with the SEC player of the year”.
Not a bad way to start off the draft.