Detroit Lions earn high grades for drafting OL Frank Ragnow

Grades range from A to B-minus

Didn’t see one mock draft with offensive lineman Frank Ragnow heading to the Lions with the 20th overall pick.

That does not mean it was a bad pick.

Lions GM Bob Quinn got his man. He said they liked Ragnow from the get-go when they watched film and interviewed him at the NFL Draft Combine.

Respected NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock had Ragnow rated as the 19th best draft prospect.

Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier calls Ragnow “a potential steal.”

Here’s a look at grades from national analysts:

Chad Reuter, draft analyst on — Grade: A … Detroit needed to get stronger in the middle, and did by picking Ragnow. He could play guard for now, or move to center if needed. Either way, he’ll move the line of scrimmage. Matthew Stafford feels better already.

Pete Prisco, CBS — Grade: B+ … He is the draft’s best center and can also play guard. The Lions have to get better inside, and Ragnow will make that happen.

Andy Benoit, MMQB — Grade: B … Picking Ragnow addressed the Lions’ weakness at left guard. Graham Glasgow will now move there, supplanting recently signed backup Kenny Wiggins. The Lions wouldn’t draft Ragnow if they didn’t believe he can be a force in the running game, which has been a deficiency the past several years in Detroit.

Yahoo Sports — Grade: B- … The Lions got a guy who will start for a decade and help alleviate running game issues while keeping Matthew Stafford happy. But Detroit needed a pass rusher.

Steven Ruiz, USAToday — Grade: B … The Lions continue to build up their offensive line by adding a nasty blocker who can play at multiple positions. Detroit could have gone for a running back to improve their dreadful run game, but Ragnow should make things easier for the backs already on the roster.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football — Grade: A- … That sound you hear is the collective hearts of the Bengals’ front office breaking upon learning about this pick. Frank Ragnow was set to go 21st overall, but the Lions also needed a center, so they snatched the Arkansas product off the board. This is a solid pick. Ragnow is a terrific center who didn’t surrender a single sack last year playing in the SEC. He fills a huge need, which the Lions had after losing Travis Swanson in free agency.

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report — Grade: B … The Lions offensive line ranked last in the NFL in adjusted line yards, according to Football Outsiders. Their running back play was terrible, but often there was simply nowhere for them to run. Frank Ragnow missed much of the 2017 season with an ankle injury. He could not participate in the Senior Bowl and only lifted at the combine, but he was a full participant at Arkansas’ pro day. Ragnow is a big mauler with pretty good balance and awareness. He adjusts to blitzes well, peels off to engage linebackers and finishes his blocks with hostility. Ragnow lets some defenders get low on him, negating his power, and may have trouble against quick, cagey interior defenders. But assuming his bill of health is clean, Ragnow is a likely starter and a potential steal. This is a solid pick, though with Harold Landry and others on the board (including a pair of centers who may be as good or better than Ragnow), it may not have been the Lions’ best selection.

(Photo courtesy of Arkansas)


Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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