With the 2016 NFL Draft kicking off in just a matter of hours, a tidal wave of new reports has flooded the football world. The latest concerns first-round hopeful Reggie Ragland, a potential target of the Green Bay Packers. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Alabama linebacker has an enlarged aorta, a condition that requires regular monitoring and may push him down draft boards.
Many believe Ragland, perhaps the top true "Mike" linebacker in the draft, could land to the Packers at pick No. 27. While the team has a conservative reputation when it comes to medical concerns, Rapoport also reports that at least seven teams do not expect Ragland's condition to affect his football career. If so, Ragland may simply wait on the board longer rather than see his prospects altered significantly the way lower-body injures have for fellow linebackers Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack.
While the Packers have a hole to fill at inside linebacker now that Clay Matthews has shifted back to the edge, the team could still go a different direction with their first round pick. Since shifting to Dom Capers' two-gap 3-4 scheme, off-the-ball linebackers have become a lower priority than securing athletic, disruptive defensive lineman. Additionally, the unit needs a coverage linebacker, a weakness for Ragland and most of the prospects at the position expected to remain available to Green Bay at No. 27.