Inside The Bills

Ragland’s chance meeting with the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 8:53 am

Before his pre-draft meeting with the Bills in Orchard Park, Alabama LB Reggie Ragland ran into Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Assistant head coach Rob Ryan in a chance meeting a month before the draft.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ragland said he ran into the two coaches in Birmingham, Alabama of all places.

“Coach Ryan, it’s funny because about two months ago, a couple of days after my pro day and I’m walking out of the mall in Birmingham and both coach Ryans are walking into the mall,” Ragland said. “I stopped them for a second and we just got to talking for a second. When I came up on my visit coach Ryan told me he could tell I was raised up well by my parents because I was saying, ‘Yes sir and no sir.’ He could tell I was a good person, so he knew he’d be getting a good person off the field and a good football player. My parents always told me that a first impression means everything, so I always try to make a good first impression to everybody that I meet.”

On his pre-draft visit Ragland said he got a good vibe from Buffalo’s head coach and is encouraged to be playing for a defensive mind like Ryan.

“I had a great time with coach Ryan. He’s a down to earth person, but you can tell when he hits that football field he’s fired up,” Ragland said. “I’m very excited because I always wanted to play for coach Ryan because he’s always put his players in a position to be successful.”

 


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Whaley: Ragland a born leader

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2016 – 4:05 pm

The Bills do their best to make the most of their pre-draft visits. Often times they’ll host players in small groups on purpose. It’s designed to get a gauge on a player’s personality makeup. Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland was on such a visit in Buffalo and by all accounts stood out.

Buffalo had Ragland for both an NFL combine interview and a pre-draft visit, and on the pre-draft visit there were other prospects in town as well.

“We had another guy from Alabama and a couple of other prospects,” said GM Doug Whaley during an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550. “When you’re sitting down at dinner you’d like to see how they interact with each other, especially their teammates. He controlled the room, not only with his teammates, but with guys from other teams. Everybody says leaders are born, not made. This guy however he got it, he has it.”

 


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Don’t doubt Ragland

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2016 – 12:35 am

Reggie Ragland knows the doubters are out there. Some don’t believe he’s athletic enough to play on third down in coverage assignments. Some wonder if his straight line speed is sufficient enough to make plays sideline to sideline. Ragland doesn’t pay attention to the critics. Just tell him he can’t do something and watch what he does.

When asked on a conference call after being drafted if he could play the weak inside linebacker position after being mainly a true mike linebacker in college, Ragland had a straightforward response.

“I can do it, you give me the opportunity so I can show you I can do,” said Ragland. “I am not scared of competition I am not going to back down from nobody. That is how I have always been. I had to earn my way at Alabama to play and that is what I am going to do here.”


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Bills front 7 haul has 2 Players of the Yr.

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 8:13 pm

The Buffalo Bills in two rounds have acquired two very accomplished players for their defense. Bills GM Doug Whaley was quick to outline their credentials as he approached the lectern following the pick of Reggie Ragland in round two.

“Well we started the draft with the ACC Player of the Year, so we decided to back it up with the SEC Defensive Player of the Year,” said Whaley. “We made a concerted effort to improve the defense and I think we did it. It’s that carbon copy phrase, best player on the board. We would’ve taken this guy at 19. That’s how high he was on our board.”

 


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Mayock: Have to be 3-down LB to go high

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2016 – 2:22 pm

With the passing game growing with each passing year in the NFL the demand on defensive players has shifted in terms of priorities and that can negatively impact players at the second level in particular.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock believes there will be some linebacker prospects, who lacking the necessary coverage skills, will see their draft stock drop as a result.

“The NFL has been evolving the last four or five years more closely paralleling the development of college football,” Mayock said. “There’s been a blurring between the safety position and the outside linebacker. They’re almost becoming often the same kind of guy, fitting the same type of role.

“Then the inside linebacker, talk about an off the line, inside linebacker typically playing one or two downs. So the role has been diminished. Unless you’ve got a guy like Luke Kuechly. If you’ve got Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, now you’ve got a different conversation, but because of nickel and dime packages, the role of the inside linebacker has evolved. So in a lot of cases, unless the guy can play on third down, his value has moved down.”

One of the most debated ILB prospects is Alabama’s Reggie Ragland. There are some clubs that believe he can play all three downs and handle certain coverage responsibilities, while others see him as a two-down prospect.


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Jeremiah ranks Lee just ahead of Ragland

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2016 – 9:22 am

There’s not a lot of separation at NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has it between Ohio State LB prospect Darron Lee and Alabama LB prospect Reggie Ragland. But what gives Lee the edge over Ragland in Jermiah’s mind is one key difference. Speed.

“I have Darron Lee at 11, and Ragland at number 12,” said Jeremiah in a recent conference call. “So I have them very close. It’s a different flavor what you’re looking for. Lee can give you more athleticism, more speed. He’s a dynamic blitzer. Somebody that can really, really run with the athletic tight ends and just the range that he has laterally is pretty much off the charts.

“He doesn’t have the same take on ability that Ragland does. You’ll see him flash on occasion, but he’ll get completely swallowed up, and you don’t see that happen to Reggie Ragland. Lee, you don’t get quite that thump. You get a little more athleticism. And in today’s league the way it is, I end up putting him a little bit above Ragland because of that athleticism and what he can give you in the passing game.”

With NFL offenses throwing the ball more and more having a linebacker athletic enough to handle one-on-one coverage assignments with elusive tight ends and tailbacks is critical for a three-down player at the second level. Lee has those qualities as we covered in our latest NFL draft prospect profile featureon.


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