The Detroit Lions Draft Frank Ragnow At Pick 20 In The 2018 NFL Draft.
The Detroit Lions addressed one of their biggest needs with their first-round selection of Frank Ragnow. The Arkansas center fills an essential role for this Lions team moving forward. The Lions identity has been built around quarterback Matthew Stafford and their passing attack. While Ragnow rarely allowed the pressure in pass protection in college, his skill set translates slightly better as a run blocker in the NFL.
While his pass protection was great in college, there is some knee stiffness that may lower his ceiling a bit as a pass blocker. However, he makes up for that flaw with immense strength and very heavy hands at the point of attack. Ragnow has consistent hand usage that allows him to win the leverage battle on most plays. But he is rarely happy with that level of play. Ragnow’s plan on every running play was to put someone on their back, a plan at which he often succeeded.
Why Did The Lions Draft Frank Ragnow?
Not only does Ragnow fill a huge need for Detroit, he also helps change their offensive line’s persona a bit. Former Lions center Travis Swanson did not have a major mean streak, nor did he impose his will on defenders the way Ragnow will. His strength and leverage at the point of attack are going to help anchor the interior line. The Lions failed consistently on 3rd and 4th and short opportunities in 2017. This issue was partially addressed with the signing of running back LeGarrette Blount.
With this selection of Ragnow, the Lions see a big improvement in this area in 2018. While the running game will see the most immediate improvement, giving Stafford more time in the pocket to throw is going to be huge for this team as well. Building on a pre-existing strength can be a good football philosophy, which is a category I think this pick falls under.
The identity of this team really is built around the passing game, so it should be no surprise the Lions addressed their offensive line issues early in the draft. While there is some room for improvement with his footwork, Ragnow’s immense strength and hand usage should earn him the starting center position heading into the Lions 2018 season.
If you want to check him out for yourself, check out his tape here.