MOBILE, Ala. -- Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland's decision to return to college for his senior season keeps looking better and better.
Ragland is practicing well at a new position (outside linebacker) at the Reese's Senior Bowl this week, and despite coming in on the heavy side at 259 pounds, he drew rave reviews from NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock.
"I'm a Reggie Ragland fan. He's going to step in on Day 1 and run somebody's defense. He's a top-20 pick all day long. He's 260 pounds, so the question is, can he play on third down, can he play the passing game? I think he can. Just because of his leadership skills, his toughness, I think he's going to be a three-down linebacker and a top-20 pick."
Playing the outside position this week, rather than the middle linebacker role he starred in for the Crimson Tide, is helping NFL clubs determine whether he can play on third down. He's shown impressive pass rush ability in drills from the edge, something clubs figure to account for in determining his third-down value.
Earlier this month, Alabama coach Nick Saban said he sees Ragland as a top-15 pick, and NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah rated him the No. 10 prospect in the draft.
"I've got to put myself in position to stay in the top 15, if I am a top-15 pick," Ragland said. "There are a lot of guys that can go in the top 15, top 10. I'm trying to keep myself in position to stay with those guys."
NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein has projected Ragland to the New York Jets with the No. 20 pick in his initial mock draft.