A Breakdown Of Frank Ragnow‘s Introductory Press Conference
On day one of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected Arkansas center Frank Ragnow with the 20th pick overall. He will bring a very physical and mean presence to the Lions offensive line. You definitely will want to check out his draft profile out.
While Ragnow brings a very aggressive demeanor on the field, in his introductory press conference he was light-hearted and intelligent from the get go. When asked about playing in NCAA’s football’s toughest conference, Ragnow had this to say “…it is one of the reasons it [competition] drew me down to Arkansas. I wanted to be the best of the best, competing against the best of the best.”
That question was quickly followed up with another, asking Ragnow if he remembers facing Lions defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, back when he was at Alabama. The media room erupted with laughter following his reply “I remember him looking like he was 40”.
Ragnow was not among the Lions potential selection rumors. He shed some light on why this was the case when asked about the Lions interest in him. He stated that the Lions had not contacted him since the NFL Combine back in February, which speak to the level of confidence their front staff had in him throughout the process. When asked about what Ragnow said to them when he met with the Lions staff at the combine, he said his focus was “trying to be the best Ragnow I can be.”
The tone shifted a bit when he was asked about his late father and what he means to Ragnow. He talked about his father being his best friend and his dad building him up to be the man he is today. After losing his father, he reached out to former Arkansas teammate and former Lions center Travis Swanson. When asked about whether or not that relationship is still strong, which he replied in the affirmative. Both of them exchanged texts on draft night wishing each other the best for their respective futures.
One of parts that stuck out to me in the interview was when he was asked about his best attributes he is bringing with him to the NFL. He mirrored a similar philosophy to what new Lions head coach Matt Patricia has been preaching this off-season. Ragnow’s first response was about how proud he is of his work ethic and his preperation for games. He said he believes in this approach because if you do “….everything else will take care of itself.”
As the introductory press conference was nearing it’s end, Ragnow was asked one of the more interesting questions of the day. He was asked whether or not Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had contacted him yet and what his thoughts on blocking for the franchise quarterback. He answered in the affirmative, talking about how shocked at first when he got the text. He said “I actually responded with ‘Mr. Stafford’ and he told ‘I’m not that old yet’. I learned my lesson quick there. He’s the ultimate gamer. Tough player. There’s not words to describe how happy I am to block for him.”
While there is no doubt the Lions had other needs in the draft, keeping Stafford upright was a big priority for this organization. The selection of Ragnow appears to be a clear philosophical match in terms of both professionalism and in the team’s identity: the passing game.