Linebacker Reggie Ragland was one of Brett Veach’s first acquisitions as general manager and ended up as one of the most underrated moves of his tenure.
Ragland was acquired from the Buffalo Bills after a disappointing start to his career and injuries. He ended up as a solid player in his first season with Kansas City, flashing potential while playing alongside Derrick Johnson. The year after Johnson left K.C. (2018) and the team brought in Anthony Hitchens, Ragland’s play dipped substantially.
Then, after the scheme change and addition of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Ragland seemed to fall completely out of the rotation; it even seemed at one point he could be traded. However, as the Chiefs run defense continued to struggle in 2019, the team finally decided to start Ragland in Week 7 against Denver and the run defense seemed to turn around.
In week 10 against the Titans, the team sat Mike Pennel and only played Ragland on 17% of all defensive snaps and, to no one’s surprise, Derrick Henry ran for nearly 200 yards on Kansas City in a loss for the Chiefs. Following that game, the Chiefs never made that mistake again and went on to end the year undefeated. Ragland was a solid run-stuffing linebacker, finishing with 23 solo tackles and 4 for a loss in 2019, a player many will overlook when mentioning who helped the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV.