Buffalo Bills selects Reggie Ragland after trading for No. 41 overall pick

Reggie Ragland

CHICAGO — After a trade with the Chicago Bears moved the Bills up eight spots in the second round of Friday’s NFL Draft, general manager Doug Whaley selected Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland with the No. 41 overall pick.

Once considered to be a sure-fire first round pick, the 22-year-old Alabama native ended up waiting much longer than he had anticipated.

Buffalo sent their No. 117 overall pick from this year’s draft and fourth-round pick from next year’s draft to make the move.

His selection was likely delayed after reports surfaced that multiple NFL teams had flagged him medically for an enlarged aorta. Ragland told AL.com “I’m good,” when asked about the medical issue shortly before the draft began.

Regardless, the Bills receive a player who led the Crimson Tide in tackles last season and served as the squad’s defensive play-caller. Additionally, he was one of the team’s permanent captains from their 2015 national championship, while recording 97 tackles, with 6.5 of them coming for a loss. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and was a consensus first-team All-American.

“He’s a garbage man in the run game,” said Dane Brugler, an NFL Draft analyst for CBSSports.com. “He does a lot of dirty work, has quick eyes, can diagnose and can attack. (His) recognition skills are already at an NFL level. He has outstanding timing over the middle as a striker. There’s a lot to like about Reggie Ragland as a middle linebacker.”

The Bills are not scheduled to pick again until the No. 80 overall pick in the third round.

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