Reggie Ragland may not be a household name that Lions fans may be used to yet, but he is someone who is getting more playing time as the season has gone on.
He came over with a ring from the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, and he is someone who was a real "value" pickup by Detroit.
In a day where tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars are thrown around in the NFL, Ragland got a one-year deal for a modest $962,500, with a $137.5K signing bonus.
He just drew his first start last week against Atlanta.
Kudos to Detroit GM Bob Quinn.
This is the third pro team Ragland has played on since coming out of the University of Alabama in 2016 as a second-round pick. He started his career with Buffalo.
He began this season as a part-time linebacker, and mostly played on third-down situations against Chicago on opening weekend.
But, he has evolved more into an every-down linebacker since, and has even started dropping into zone coverages lately (i.e. against ATL).
Ragland sure seems to have found a home in Detroit.
He is solid -- not great, not good, but solid. And he seems to fit the makeup of the team.
Detroit has moved him all around in its scheme, playing him outside and inside at every linebacker position. He has that versatility.
He reminds me of a very poor man’s version of former NFL linebacker London Fletcher, in terms of body type.
LB #59 Reggie Ragland - 6-foot-2, 258 pounds
Grade: C (average; nothing special about the player)
Games watched: 9/13 vs. CHI, 9/20 vs. GB, 9/27 vs. AZ, 10/4 vs. NO, 10/18 vs. JAX and 10/25 vs. ATL.
Big, thick, physical, strong and tough, limited-area linebacker, with limited technique as a pass-rusher or run-stopper. Very average-looking speed and range. A player who has evolved into an every-down linebacker. Looks physically strong. Gives effort blitzing, but has no pop or explosiveness whatsoever at the point of attack. Has zero pass-rush moves or pass-rush arsenal after he gets initial surge and push. Tends to get stalemated a lot. Best when he is left clean, stunts or comes on a delayed blitz (i.e. against CHI), which coaches have started to understand in the past two games against JAX and ATL.
Logged first and only sack of the season against NO. Shows he can drop into zones in coverage, and looks decent doing it. Struggles against the run, because he shows little-to-no ability to take on blockers, use his hands and disengage at the point of attack. He is ineffective fighting through offensive linemen, and even got handled by tight ends against GB, ARI and ATL. Also, got handled by fullbacks against NO and ATL. Really struggled against any blocks.
Best when he can ride the wave down the line of scrimmage, fight through the trash and make a tackle laterally. He can somehow stay clean or can sneak through the side door off the edge, and catch the running back without being really challenged. Solid, punishing tackler. Shows some visible fire and passion. A player who does what he can, despite his vast limitations.
There is something to this guy -- despite his limitations -- and there is no question he is growing on Patricia and the defensive coaching staff. Could do better, and certainly there is worse out there.
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