As part of our coverage leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 150 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.
Reggie Ragland (LB), Alabama
6’1” | 247 lbs.
102 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 7 PD, 2 FF
"Where He Wins: Is best as a hammer linebacker, meeting blocks as soon as possible in the hopes of disrupting plays. Reminds me a lot of Kevin Minter. I think the “edge rusher on third down” stuff is a nice attempt by his people, but if Ragland is one of your two best edge rushers on obvious passing downs, you have bigger problems." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com
Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.
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The Bears defense gave up a season-high 24 points in the Week 5 loss to the Raiders. The bye week that followed meant they had to stew on that performance for an extra seven days.
Bears safety Eddie Jackson admitted the defense “didn’t hold up” in an interview on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning. It sounds like they are fired up to not have a repeat performance against the Saints.
“We want to get that bad taste out of our mouths,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, we had to wait for a bye week.
“Now we got to make a statement game here at home.”
That statement game will have to come without stud defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Hicks got injured in the loss to the Raiders and is expected to miss significant time.
Jackson talked about what Hicks’ absence will mean to the defense.
“That’s a tough loss for us,” Jackson said. “The style of play Akiem brings is hard to fill. Right now we’re doing a good job holding up with guys coming in and stepping up, but at the end of the day that’s Akiem. His resume speaks for itself. What he does speaks for itself. Film, everything. It’s a tough loss, man. We’re hoping to have him back real soon for playoffs or the end of the season. It really hurts us, but we ride with him. He still comes around. He’s still engaged and meetings and things like that.”
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New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees isn't expected to play Sunday at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears as he continues to rehab his thumb injury. Teddy Bridgewater has thrived in his absence, completing over 69% of his passes for 1,089 yards, seven touchdowns and just two interceptions in five games (four starts).
But the engine that makes the Saints offense go is RB Alvin Kamara, who tweaked his knee against the Jaguars Sunday. He was dealing with an ankle injury heading into the game, too, and played his least amount of snaps of any game this season.
New Orleans worked out RB Travaris Cadet Monday which at least signals some concern on the team's part that Kamara may not be able to play.
According to ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett, Kamara's status won't become clear until Thursday or Friday.
The Bears defense is more than capable of stopping New Orleans' offense with or without Kamara in the lineup, but their job will be much easier if the dynamic third-year pro is held out. Through six games this season, Kamara's totaled 373 rushing yards, 276 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
If Kamara can't play Sunday, the Saints will unleash a heavy dose of RB Latavius Murray, who Chicago is very familiar with after facing him five times while he was a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Murray's run for 214 yards and two touchdowns in his career against Chicago, but doesn't offer nearly the kind of game-changing ability that Kamara possesses.
We'll have more on Kamara's status as the week progresses.