The San Francisco 49ers have plenty of needs to fill this off-season and none more glaring than at the linebacker position. The 49ers who will be doing their ‘due diligence’ on college prospects, continue to do so on one of the game’s biggest stages — the Senior Bowl.
The 49ers already met with Penn State NT Austin Johnson earlier in the week and have now done the same with Alabama LB Reggie Ragland. At 6-2, 252, Ragland would be a welcomed addition under new DC Jim O’Neil. A player who is well disciplined and stout against the run, there is no question that Ragland will be one of the most coveted linebackers in this year’s draft.
However, the question remains if Ragland can set the edge at outside linebacker. Ragland played mainly inside at Alabama but due to scouts request will get a strong look at outside linebacker in the Senior Bowl. So far so good, as Ragland has been one of the lone bright spots throughout this week of practice.
So with Ragland preparing for his new position, how will he fare playing in space? That’s the question, scouts want answered. They already know about his ability to hit the A and B gaps but what about covering tight-ends one-on-one while holding the point of attack? These questions must be answered and Ragland will have to show the scouts he can do it all, if he hopes to maintain a top 20 pick.