Dear John Elway: Go out and get Reggie Ragland right now
The Denver Broncos could use some depth defensively, specifically at inside linebacker. What would it take to get Reggie Ragland from Buffalo?
The Denver Broncos are a playoff-caliber, fringe-Super Bowl squad that are just a few small pieces away from being the dominant team that they were back in 2015; a year where they literally had one of the greatest defenses of all time.
Many reports out of camp are out of concern for the quarterbacks, but that attention has taken the spotlight away from the glaring flaws that has afflicted one of the greatest defenses in NFL history.
At the end of last season, the Broncos had the No. 1 ranked passing defense in the entire NFL – elite status. Not only that, they currently have the NFL’s No. 1 (Chris Harris Jr.) and No. 3 (Aqib Talib) ranked cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus . Basically, the best of the best.
And the Broncos compliment that how? Oh yes, with their pitiful run defense that was ranked 28th in the NFL last year. According to Pro Football Reference, the Broncos occupied the No. 3 spot in rushing defense, and allowed just 83.6 rushing YPG in 2015, compared to a whopping 130.3 YPG last season.
This significant drop off has almost everything to do with the losses of Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson, and thus far, the Broncos have shown no sign of filling those holes.
Buffalo Bills sophomore inside linebacker Reggie Ragland might fit in quite nicely.
Ragland was the 2015 SEC Defensive Player of the Year at the University of Alabama before missing the entire 2016-17 season due to a torn ACL in his left knee.
The second-round pick was very highly touted by Rex Ryan (who cares right?), Bills fans, and former teammates as well. In an interview with the Associated Press, Alabama Safety Ronnie Harrison said Ragland was “the Ray Lewis of our defense” in regards to Ragland being a field general, and a beast at middle linebacker.
Currently, the Bills have been on a 2018 NFL Draft shopping spree trying to acquire picks to build for their future. Their most recent transactions, the trading of WR Sammy Watkins and CB Ronald Darby prove they mean business.
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Also, the Bills have just moved Ragland down to the No. 3 position on their depth chart. Ragland may not be the best fit for Sean McDermott’s 4-3 defense, as Ragland was picked by Rex Ryan to run a 3-4, the defense that the Broncos hoisted a Lombardi Trophy playing under.
Right now, Ragland is expendable to Buffalo, especially for a draft pick. Acquiring Ragland would raise the ceiling of talent on our current roster of ILBs, and would allow Ragland to be a compliment alongside Brandon Marshall, one of the best in the linebackers in the league.
In their latest preseason game, Ragland racked up six tackles including one tackle for loss; pretty good production for a so-called “third-stringer.” The Broncos would greatly increase their talent at the position in making a move for Ragland, and this also addresses their wretched run defense as currently constructed.
C’mon, Elway! Defense wins championships, and this guy would cost next to nothing to acquire. Let’s get that boy next to Marshall and see if the Oakland Raiders rush for over 200 yards and three touchdowns on us again, like they did in Week 9 last year. Or did you forget about that?