Reggie Ragland Reportedly Flagged for Enlarged Aorta: Latest Comments, Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

Dec 31, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland (19) during the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2015  Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama star Reggie Ragland, the top inside linebacker in the 2016 NFL draft class, has reportedly been "flagged" for an enlarged aorta. 

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Thursday the issue requires yearly monitoring and caused some front offices to move him down their draft boards. Rapoport added seven teams he spoke with didn't believe it would impact his football career as long as it's watched closely.

On Friday, Gil Brandt of NFL.com reported no teams expressed concerns regarding Ragland's heart. Brandt noted he should "come off [the] board early" in Round 2. 

Ragland has the potential to become an eraser in the middle of the field at the next level. He showcased terrific vision and a knack for chasing down running backs during his time with the Crimson Tide en route to a team-high 102 total tackles in his senior season.

CBSSports.com rated him as the No. 15 overall prospect in the class before news of the aortic ailment. His value was bolstered by the fact that only one other middle linebacker was ranked inside CBS Sports' top 100 (Kentrell Brothers at No. 58), leaving little supply to meet the demand.

The defensive standout told Michael Casagrande of AL.com on Wednesday he was looking forward to the opening round of the draft Thursday night: "I'm good. I'm not nervous. I don't think I'll get nervous until like tomorrow. Everybody like my mom and dad are nervous. I'm just cool, calm and happy for the opportunity. Not a lot of people get an opportunity to be here."

Knox Bardeen of CBS Sports Radio noted word of the health issue probably isn't breaking news to any of the teams that could be looking to draft the linebacker.

Ultimately, the fact that Rapoport received word from teams that Ragland should be able to move forward normally beyond keeping tabs on the issue is a positive sign. Any slide associated with the news should be limited as a result.

He's capable of providing a quick upgrade to a team's run defense. It would be tough for teams to pass on that type of talent in Round 2.

Related

    Report: Amari Cooper's Price Keeps Rising 📈

    Cooper has been ‘intentionally patient’ in contract talks as money for league’s top receivers has gone up

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: Amari Cooper's Price Keeps Rising 📈

    Cooper has been ‘intentionally patient’ in contract talks as money for league’s top receivers has gone up

    Adam Schefter
    via ESPN.com

    Darnold Already Feeling Better

    Week 5 or Week 6 return from mono hasn’t been ruled out for Sam Darnold

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Darnold Already Feeling Better

    Week 5 or Week 6 return from mono hasn’t been ruled out for Sam Darnold

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: NFL, NFLPA Investigating Possible Giants Concussion Protocol Violation

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: NFL, NFLPA Investigating Possible Giants Concussion Protocol Violation

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Antonio Brown Travels with Patriots Ahead of Expected Debut vs. Dolphins

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: Antonio Brown Travels with Patriots Ahead of Expected Debut vs. Dolphins

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report