One more name on the cryptic list of pre-draft visitors for the Buffalo Bills is known: Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland will be making a visit to One Bills Drive, according to Chase Goodbread of NFL.com.
Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland's calendar tells the story of a prospect who will be in demand this draft season. Ragland, who's projected to be a first-round pick, spoke with College Football 24/7 at Alabama's pro day on Wednesday. He said that he's already scheduled private workouts with the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings, with more than that in touch with his agent to find open dates.
Ragland, in some ways, would be an ideal fit in Buffalo's defense. He started at middle linebacker for the Crimson Tide for the last two seasons (after the departure of first round pick and rookie year Pro Bowl linebacker CJ Mosley). In that time, he accumulated 195 tackles (106 solo), four sacks, 17 tackles for loss, an interception, ten passes defended, and three forced fumbles. Ragland was one of the best run-stuffing linebackers in the nation, and his pass coverage chops were also up to snuff, owing to his excellent awareness on the field.
At 6'1" and 247 pounds, Ragland is the size of a classic inside linebacker. Although there were concerns that he may have been limited athletically, he tested just fine at the NFL Combine, running a 4.72-second 40-yard dash, broad jumping 9'8", and completing a 4.28-second short shuttle (all above-average numbers for inside linebackers, though below-average for outside linebackers).
If there is a concern with Ragland, it may be a somewhat enigmatic series of offseason situations. Following Alabama's championship win, Ragland appeared in the Senior Bowl, requesting that he could participate in outside linebacker and pass rushing drills to demonstrate his versatility. However, he tipped the scales at 259 pounds (with one explanation being the limited amount of time to adjust his diet and training with the late end to his football season) and fizzled out of those drills after the first day of practice. Ragland chose not to participate in the bench press at the Combine, citing a shoulder injury, and he only managed 13 reps at the Alabama Pro Day on Wednesday. He also backed out of running the forty at the pro day after initially announcing he would make a run, saying that he believed his first time was good enough.
Strange coincidences aside, the Bills are clearly interested in the first-team All American. Will Ragland be available when the Bills pick 19th overall? It's early, but Yahoo Sports NFL writer Charles Robinson doesn't think so.
Looking for the full list of pre-draft visitors? We're tracking that, plus other important draft information, on our 2016 NFL Draft hub.