Former Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland was flagged prior to the 2016 NFL Draft with an enlarged aorta. Some teams believe the condition is “a concern,” per Tony Softli.
It's being reported and confirmed by NFL sources that LB Reggie Ragland heart issue is a concern to some teams but not all. #NFLDraft2016
— Tony Softli (@SoftliSEA) April 29, 2016
Pegged by many as a potential first-round pick heading into the draft, Ragland wasn’t one of the 31 men selected on Thursday night in Chicago. He, along with fellow linebackers Myles Jack (chondral defect) and Jaylon Smith (nerve issue in knee and ankle), are the most talented linebackers at what they can do in the entire draft.
But because of medical red flags all three are falling well past where they should have been taken, if not for their conditions.
When Ragland’s condition was first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, he noted it something that must be monitored yearly and that some teams did drop him on their draft boards. Obviously, based on the events of Round 1, that did occur.
Now it’s going to be interesting to see how far the burly inside linebacker falls on Friday.
A two-year starter for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, Ragland was a beast in the middle of that defense. He racked up 220 tackles (17.5 for a loss), four sacks, one interception, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his career at Alabama.
Provided his heart condition isn’t detrimental to his NFL career, Ragland has the potential to be long-term starter.