Thomas Friesen: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Take a weakness, and turn it into a strength. That’s how you improve.
The major weaknesses I see in the Packers depth chart are at TE and ILB. One could make a case for OL, but the starting five are among the league’s best, and you want your first round guy getting in the game immediately. We already know how thin the draft class is at TE, so to that leaves me with one clear choice.
Ragland is an old-school linebacker. He is labelled as a run stuffer, but has also shown his ability to break through the line, with 17.5 tackles for loss over his last two seasons. With the dual threat of Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers on the outside, and the attention they draw, I see the potential for Ragland to be even more of a force in the pass rush than he was at the college level.
Ultimately, the Packers would bring Ragland in to bolster the run defense. He is definitely a force between the tackles, and while speed is his one issue, he has shown terrific instincts in tracking running backs all over the field. His 102 tackles in 2015 make that case for him.
Next: Freddie Boston