Chiefs strengthen defense with Ragland trade

The Kansas City Chiefs have made some decisions about their inside linebacker group.

In trading a 4th round pick to acquire Reggie Ragland from the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs have taken a step in the right direction. General manager Brett Veach added an important tool to the defense that it didn’t have prior to Monday.

Ragland is a classic 3-4 Mike linebacker who is purpose-built to attack the run game. That was exactly his forte while playing the same position at the University of Alabama. Buffalo drafted Ragland in 2016 in the second round.

The Kansas City Chiefs acquired linebacker Reggie Ragland in a trade with the Buffalo Bills for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR,

Ragland brings a unique capability to this roster. Currently, the inside linebackers are all built to be a Will-chase type linebacker. Conversely, Ragland is best at powering downhill, taking on blocks and stopping the run. Ragland’s adaptation to the defense will take some time but he should provide a more well-rounded option in the middle.

While Ramik Wilson made strides in his run defense in this preseason, this acquisition makes the team stronger. The release of Josh Mauga clearly indicates that the younger athletic linebackers have more to offer the team in 2017 than the experienced veteran.

Monday’s transactions do leave the team with a much younger overall group of linebackers. With Derrick Johnson’s leadership in the position room, they must mature quickly. Kevin Pierre-Louis’s addition helps as well.  He played several seasons with a strong franchise before coming to Kansas City. However, this group will be searching for the right man to line up next to Johnson over the next few weeks, possibly into the regular season.