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2016 NFL Draft results: Reggie Ragland to Buffalo Bills at No. 41 overall

Ragland likely gives the Bills their second instant starter on defense so far in this year's draft

With the No. 41 overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills have selected Reggie Ragland, a middle linebacker from Alabama.

The move came after the Bills traded up from No. 49 overall to secure the selection; they dealt one of their fourth-round picks this year, plus their 2017 fourth-round pick, to acquire the pick. We're not sure which of their two fourth-round picks this year that they sacrificed to snag Ragland.

How does the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year double as a polarizing, arguably less-than-exciting NFL Draft prospect? In Ragland’s case, it comes down to average metrics: he’s a 6’1", 247-pound inside linebacker with unremarkable athletic numbers (4.72-second 40-yard dash, 31.5-inch vertical jump, 9’8" broad jump). Add in the consensus evaluation that he's a better run defender than pass defender, and Ragland’s reputation has emerged as that of a linebacker bred for a bygone era of pro football.

Yet despite this, there’s a lot to like about Ragland, starting with the fact that he’s the third Alabama linebacker to garner consensus All-American status, following in the footsteps of the late Derrick Thomas, a Hall of Fame member, and former Bills great Cornelius Bennett. His average athleticism and short-area quickness is perceived as a negative, but he’s still comfortable in coverage, and he might have worthwhile developmental upside as a pass rusher. More to the point, he has leadership qualities, and has been described as a tone-setter.

Perhaps you’ve heard that Ragland is a "two-down thumper" at linebacker in the pre-draft process; the fact that the Bills just traded up for him would seem to indicate that they think otherwise. Time will tell how the team plans on fitting him into a linebacker rotation that also includes veterans Preston Brown and Zach Brown, but the odds are low that the Bills drafted Ragland to ride the pine.

2016 Bills draft picks

Rd. # Team Player Pos. College
1 19 Buffalo Bills Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
2 41 Buffalo Bills Reggie Ragland LB Alabama
3 80 Buffalo Bills
4 139 Buffalo Bills
5 156 Buffalo Bills
6 192 Buffalo Bills
6 218 Buffalo Bills