We’re sure the Green Bay Packers would love an opportunity to draft Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland. We know Ragland, who grew up a Packers fan, would like to be drafted by the Packers.
With Clay Matthews moving back to outside linebacker in 2016, the Packers have a need on the inside again. Yes, Jake Ryan will be entering his second season and Sam Barrington will be returning from injury, but neither player has as much potential as Ragland.
Ragland is projected as a first-round pick and is arguably the top inside linebacker in the 2016 draft. The Packers reportedly had a long talk with him at the Senior Bowl.
“I did meet with them, and they talked to me about that they needed a linebacker on the inside,” Ragland said. “And if they had the opportunity, I think they would. But I’m not sure. It all depends when draft day comes.
“But they said they really need an inside linebacker, so they can move Clay (Matthews) back on the outside. If they get me, it would be a blessing in disguise because Green Bay’s always been one of my favorite teams growing up as a kid.”
We’re sure most everyone would be onboard with that scenario. Everyone except perhaps one of the 26 teams picking ahead of the Packers.
NFL Network has Ragland projected as a top-20 pick, which makes it possible — if the Packers really do covet him — that they’d have to trade up to get him.
“It would mean a lot to me that I came out there and I worked hard through the process that they really wanted me that bad to trade up for me,” said Ragland. “That means I really got to come in, whoever it is. If that happens, whoever it is, I’ve got to come out there and just play hard and prove to them I that they made the right decision by trading up to get me.”
Packers general manager Ted Thompson has only traded up once in the first round. It was in 2009, when he added a second first-round pick to select Clay Matthews at No. 26.
Of course, sometimes things just work out.
Another Alabama guy — safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix — wasn’t supposed to be available at No. 21 in 2014. Thanks to the New York Jets’ folly of taking Louisville safety Calvin Pryor at No. 18, there sat the highest-rated safety in the draft for the safety-starved Packers to pluck.
Could lightning strike twice?