NY Giants bolster LB depth, sign former 2nd-round pick Reggie Ragland

Reggie Ragland #59 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Reggie Ragland #59 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The NY Giants signed linebacker Reggie Ragland Thursday, less than a year after choosing three linebackers after Round 6 of the 2020 NFL Draft, underscoring the organization’s commitment to improving depth at the position.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network was first to report Ragland’s signing, which league sources confirmed to GMenHQ.

Ragland, 27, was originally chosen by the Buffalo in 2016 out of Alabama, where head coach Joe Judge was a member of Nick Saban’s coaching staff. He didn’t play a down as a rookie, tearing his ACL that August, and was released the following summer before getting signed by the Kansas City Chiefs where he played three seasons.

Familiarity likely played a key role in the NY Giants’ signing of Ragland, not just because of Judge’s knowledge of him as a player and person but also because new NY Giants personnel executive Kyle O’Brien was previously in the Lions’ personnel department last season, and likely had a hand in bringing him to Detroit.

Last season, Ragland produced 47 total tackles, forced one fumble, and made 18-run stops, as Pro Football Focus gave him a 55 run-defense grade and 60.3 pass-rush grade for 2020.

At times a dominant downhill linebacker, Ragland took his lumps in coverage last season, allowing quarterbacks a 119.2 passer rating when targeting him, and he also missed three tackles.

Through the first 58 games of his career, Ragland has produced 212 total tackles, 130 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

For an organization that values the culture it is building, Ragland also is a boost in this department, after winning a Super Bowl ring with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

Still, Ragland has the potential to be a significant upgrade over the likes of Cam Brown, Tae Crowder, Carter Coughlin.

Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.