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Is Alabama ILB Reggie Ragland the defensive force the Redskins need?

Feb 16, 2016, 12:31 PM EDT

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 72 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Reggie Ragland
Inside linebacker


Height: 6-1
Weight: 259

What they’re saying

Thumping inside linebacker with throwback size and tone­ setting mentality. Ragland is a confident and capable early starter in league who has the temperament to become one of the premier run­-stopping inside linebackers in the pro game. Ragland has some coverage and speed limitations, but his instincts and overall awareness should be able to mask those issues.

Lance Zierlein,

How he fits the Redskins: Ragland could be a good example of the team taking the best available player regardless of need. They could start the season with Will Compton and Mason Foster as the starters and have Perry Riley and Martrell Spaight as the backups. But the team needs difference makers on defense and Ragland could be one of those.

The Redskins had some big problems stopping the run (allowed 4.8 yards/rush, 31st in the NFL) and Ragland could be just the solution they are looking for. He plays downhill and is a sure tackler.

There seems to be a good chance the unanimous All-American will still be on the board when the Redskins pick at No. 21, although some mock drafts have him going somewhere in the early teens.

Related: Casserly talks about Ragland’s possible fit with the Redskins.

Potential issues: One thing that an inside linebacker in Joe Barry’s one-gap system needs to be able to do is shed blocks. Playing behind the Crimson Tide’s stalwart defensive line that is not something he had to deal with consistently. McCloughan will have to evaluate if he can get coached to do it. He seems to handle himself well in zone coverage but his man to man skills are suspect.

Bottom line: An inside linebacker in a 3-4 is considered to be a relatively low value position and perhaps not worth a first-round pick unless the prospect is flawless. But a right tackle isn’t supposed to be valuable enough to justify a high first-round pick but that didn’t keep McCloughan from taking Brandon Scherff fifth overall (and subsequently moving him to guard).

  1. celticsforever - Feb 16, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Again. Best available player. Excellent. If the pick is used on this guy and he plugs the middle LB corps for the next 10 years and makes 6 pro bowls, that would be considered an A+ pick. This defence needs difference makers.

  2. smotion55 - Feb 16, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    This would be a very good pick, but I would go best high motor Nose Tackle in the 1st that they figure will fit there system. We still have ILB Spaight from last years rookie class that they put on IR who is completely healthy who has been there getting bigger and stronger all year. Pot Roast was just that= too big and too slow.

  3. Mr.moneylover - Feb 16, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    Heres whats happen with kirk cousins…redskins looked at kirk cousins numbers this year offer around 13 to 14 mill a year like kapernick kirk cousins agent declined the offer talks broke down redskins refuse to offer a crazy amount to kirk cousins… If redskins have to franchise tag Kirk cousins its also possible kirk cousins agent can tell kirk cousins to miss the off-season drills until a long term deal gets done…it can get crazy…kirk cousins need to except the average deal redskins offer until he improve his skills I hope redskins don’t bite and give him a crazy deal then we will be stuck with him if he don’t improve… Redskins have to be ready to start the off-season without kirk cousins if he decide to hold out…kirk cousins said this is a business and he’s gonna do what’s best for him and his family so I think he will be willing to hold out and see if redskins bite

    • bangkokben - Feb 16, 2016 at 3:29 PM

      Like Rich said, these thing get done right before the deadline – last days of February before the tag and the week leading to training camp if tagged. If tagged, guys like Sam Bradford, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andrew Luck’s extension will set the market and Cousins’ agent can slot him in between appropriately.

    • babyteal1 - Feb 16, 2016 at 3:32 PM

      Wasn’t this article about an inside linebacker?????

      • sidepull - Feb 16, 2016 at 4:12 PM

        Yea and I may be one of the few not sold on Ragland, not yet anyways.

        • babyteal1 - Feb 16, 2016 at 4:37 PM

          You will be. We need a playmaker like this guy!!

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Feb 16, 2016 at 5:36 PM

          Does a playmaker give a team just 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 interception in 4 years of college? He’s a great at stuffing the run and he would get you among team high in tackles in most season. Raglan is not a playmaker!

      • thirdistheworrd - Feb 16, 2016 at 6:01 PM

        Shows what you know

    • wvredskins - Feb 16, 2016 at 5:09 PM

      I disagree. I dont think Kirk is the type of player to hold out. He is not an “I” guy. He is a “we” type of guy.

    • kenlinkins - Feb 16, 2016 at 8:54 PM

      Cousins breaking off contract talks this early was a very smart move. It sets the floor for 2016 at $19.2 million guaranteed money in Cousins pocket. It could also force the Redskins to use a high draft pick (2nd – 4th who could be ready to start in 2017, not a easy thing to do) on a QB in 2016 to avoid in 2017 tagging Cousins for $22 million in 2017. So the floor for 2016 is now $19.2 million plus a high draft pick with maybe another $22.5 million tag in 2017. That’s is about $42 million of guaranteed money for 2 years. This is one of the few times the new CBA has worked in favor of the player, but that is mostly due to the short supply of QB’s. I do not count the RG3 failure as part of the Redskins QB problem as RG3 would have commanded the same or even more money if things had worked out. (so that’s a wash in my book). So what kind of offer would it take to get Cousins not to take the 2 year $42 million gamble? I would say $33 million of guaranteed money is the right number (he has the first $19 million in his pocket so the gamble is the 2017 $22 million and a high draft pick). So add $15 million plus the $19 million and add another $3 million for the draft pick: totals $37 million. So a 4 year deal at 2016 $5 million, 2017 $6 million, 2018 $18 million and 2019 at $22 million with a $26 million signing bonus (total $74 million for 4 years). That places $31 million in Cousins pocket for 2016, with the avg at $16.5 million per year if he plays 4 years and $18.5 million if he plays 2 years and gets cut. I just do not see Cousins walking away from a $31 million dollar pay check.

      • goback2rfk - Feb 16, 2016 at 10:40 PM

        Looks like you are a little short on your figures. You must work for the Redskins front office.
        Ryan Tannehill and Colin Kapernick are making 19 mil a year. Cousins is coming off a division title. I am thinking Cousins is needing closer to the 20mil + per year figure. Something like 4 years 84.5 million with 36 mil guaranteed.

  4. Darryl Jamison - Feb 16, 2016 at 4:03 PM

    I like speed over size ! Players bodies continue to develop . Redskins need a impact middle linebacker but not a 2 down guy . Too many needs on defense so whoever we select at #21 needs to be capable of full time duty at whatever position he plays . Using a first round on a part time player is a big no-no. Same with interior defensive lineman (he should be an everyday player with abilities to disrupt) . We are building a championship team so pick championship type players .

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 16, 2016 at 4:18 PM

      Well, the guy making the pick prefers size so . . .

      • babyteal1 - Feb 16, 2016 at 4:38 PM

        Perfect REDSKIN…lets draft him….pleeez

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 16, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    I’m for B.A.P. at 21. Will Ragland be that guy? In McGlue we trust…

    • hail74 - Feb 16, 2016 at 4:26 PM


  6. redskinsnameisheretostay - Feb 16, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    It looks like there will some teams hungry for this linebacker that pick before the Redskins. I think Kiper has Chicago taking him as the 12th pick. Other possible landing spots for Ragland are the Giants or even the Jets. The Jets have many teams needs on offense but Chicago and the Giants very well could take him.

    Ragland looks like a guy who’ll certainly boost the defense in stopping the run. He is already big for an inside linebacker and no one questions his strength. However, there are questions about his field speed and coverage ability. He is not the “playmaker” type many fans may want as their first pick. However, he should provide many highlight hits, improved tackling, and one report read he can develop into a blitzing linebacker.

    You have to love his rugged style on the field.

  7. kenlinkins - Feb 16, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    I also am not sold on Ragland and think the Redskins can do better with the 21st pick.

  8. berniebernard666 - Feb 16, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    the Redskins need to stop somebody at the line of scrimmage first. The guys they have are useless at stopping the run. Go get a HUGE DEFENSIVE END and bring back Pot Roast. Lets have 3 Defensive linemen with Baker, Pot Roast, and a rookie with 1000 pounds on the Defensive line.

    • goback2rfk - Feb 16, 2016 at 10:31 PM

      I like that idea. Sounds pretty good. They got run all over last season.

  9. Lex - Feb 16, 2016 at 11:53 PM

    I think Raglands coverage skills will be exposed in the nfl. Compared to a jaylon smith who clocks sub 4.5 40s he sounds like Riley to me. We need an upgrade over riley not a cloan. Id bring in danny trevathan and go with a d lineman or even ezekiel elliot at 21. Archives

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