Ever since the Buffalo Bills drafted Reggie Ragland early in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, he's been penciled in as a starter. The former Crimson Tide linebacker is expected to bring additional toughness to Buffalo's defense and his presence on the field should help Buffalo's defense rebound from a down year in 2015.
Just how much of an impact is Ragland expected to make with Buffalo? Pro Football Focus listed Ragland fifth on their list of Top 20 offseason additions likely to make an immediate impact. PFF listed free agents and rookies on their list and Ragland was the first rookie to be mentioned. Here's what was said about Ragland and the immediate impact he should make for the Bills.
5. Reggie Ragland, ILB, Bills
How he got here: 2016 NFL draft (Round 2, pick No. 41 overall, Alabama)
Last season, the Bills’ defense was not of the standard Rex Ryan expects, particularly in the front seven. Starting middle linebacker Preston Brown ranked 90th out of 97 qualifying linebackers in overall grade a year ago. He was third from bottom in run defense alone, recording a 23.7 grade (on PFF’s 1–100 scale). Ragland will have to prove himself capable of handling his coverage responsibilities in the NFL, but he’ll be a dramatic upgrade from day one against the run. Ragland’s instincts and burst to close sideline to sideline stand out. He should make an instant impact for Buffalo.