Breaking Down Reggie Ragland and Myles Jack

Reggie Ragland – ILB – Alabama Ragland is a fourth-year senior and a two-year starter for Alabama. He usually lines up on the strong side of the formation in Alabama’s base defense. In sub packages, he will either stay at linebacker or at times lines up as a defensive end to rush the passer. Ragland is a former four or five star recruit depending on the recruiting service you look at. He had offers from some of the best programs in the country. Size – 6'2" – 250 – 4.68 (all estimates) Strong Points – He has great size to go along with good to very good overall athleticism. He has good play speed. He plays with very good strength, is strong at the point of attack, can shed blocks and is a very good tackler. He is good in coverage but is best in zone versus underneath routes. Has adequate pass rush skills when coming off the edge. Does a good job with blitzes. Shows good lateral movement and agility, can move through trash and get to the sideline. Weak Points – More of a reactor than an anticipator. Does not  consistently take good angles to the ball. Summation – Ragland has ideal size, speed and strength to play inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. His instincts are average and he reacts better than he anticipates. Still he is a strong point of attack player who can shed blocks and clog up the middle. Plays downhill. Plays the outside run well because of his play speed and his lateral movement. When in pursuit he doesn’t consistently take good angles but still makes pursuit plays. He is a consistently good tackler and will come up with a blowup type hit on occasion. In pass coverage he gets depth with his drops, shows awareness and plays the underneath routes well. As a pass rusher he is sometimes used as a defensive end and gets adequate outside pressure. Is sometimes better as an inside blitzer from the linebacker position. Overall, I see Ragland as an eventual starter at inside linebacker for a playoff caliber team and will start earlier for a team with a need. He won’t be special, but he will be a solid NFL starter. His best fit is in a 3-4 scheme but he can play in a 4-3. Myles Jack – LB – UCLA Jack is a third-year junior and a three-year starter for UCLA. He also has some experience as a running back for the Bruins. He announced earlier this year after a knee injury that he will give up the remainder of his college eligibility and enter the 2016 NFL Draft. Based on the way UCLA uses Jack he can be a difficult guy to scout. While listed as a linebacker, he often plays walked off over a receiver and plays much more in coverage than most linebackers. He is a great athlete and that allows UCLA to use him the way they do. Size – 6'10" – 238 – 4.55 (all estimates) Strong Points – Has great overall athleticism, moves around and can run like a defensive back. Has easy change of direction and body control with loose hips to turn and run. Shows top instincts and is around the ball. Is a good hitter and can shed on the move. Shows very good overall tackling ability both at the line of scrimmage and in space. Is effective as a pass rusher. Rare cover skills for a linebacker. Weak Points – Does not play to his measured size. Plays more like a 220 pound guy. Not a physical point of attack player. Would rather elude blocks than take them on at the point of attack. Better in space than he is in tight quarters. Summation – Jack is almost a man without a position. Is not your prototypical linebacker and isn’t used that way. On base downs he often is lined up five to six yards off the line. Has great speed and athleticism and most offensive players can’t outrun him. He is an excellent pursuit player with great range. He is not a top point of attack inside run stuffer. Can be slow to shed when blocked by big people. He is much better when on the move. He would rather elude a block than have to stack at the line of scrimmage. He is often walked off in coverage and lined up over a slot or inside receiver. Has defensive back movement skills and is very good in man or zone coverage. Shows outstanding mirror skills for a linebacker. His coverage skills separate him from other linebackers. He is effective as a blitzer coming off the edge. Again he will often try and elude the blocker or use moves. He is not a bull rusher. Has a great burst coming off blocks. Overall, Jack is a different type a player and he is not a fit for all schemes. I feel his best position is as a Will linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. He might be able to play inside in a 3-4 but he needs to improve his ability to take on and shed blocks. Because of his outstanding athleticism and cover skills, some teams may use him as a strong safety. He will need a period of adjustment when he gets to the NFL but he has something special to him and when he is ready he won’t come off the field. Some teams will use him as a nickel linebacker early on while he makes the adjustment to the NFL. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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