Reggie Ragland, a 6-1, 247-pound middle linebacker, was the unquestioned leader of the Alabama defense, not only statistically, but also as its captain and play-caller.
He was taken in the second round of the NFL draft, the 41st overall selection, by the Buffalo Bills.
Ragland was a unanimous All-America for the Crimson Tide’s 2015 national championship team and was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was a starter at outside linebacker as a junior and was a Butkus Award semifinalist who elected to return for his senior season.
As a senior he was a finalist for the Butkus, Bednarik, and Nagurski finalist and Lombardi semifinalist.
Ragland led Bama with 102 tackles, including seven for losses of 23 yards and three sacks, broke up seven passes, had two quarterback pressures, and caused two fumbles.
OUR PRE-DRAFT PREDICTION:
First Round, No. 17 to Atlanta
CollegeFootballNews.com ranked Ragland the number two linebacker available in the draft and had this to say:
“The better Alabama linebacker is on the way – Reuben Foster is the stronger inside prospect coming in the 2017 draft – but Ragland is plenty talented and awfully good, too. Just don’t make him something he’s not.
“He tried out as an outside linebacker throughout the offseason process and will get a look as a pass rusher, but he’s an inside defender who’ll sit in the middle of a linebacking corps and destroy everyone’s running game. Yeah, he’s a bit limited, but if his job is to seek and destroy between the hashmarks, he’ll do that at the highest of levels.”