Graham Glasgow knows better than anyone what the next few days and months are going to be like for rookie Frank Ragnow.
Two years ago, Glasgow was in Ragnow’s shoes. He was a rookie interior offensive lineman trying to make the transition to the NFL, where he was expected to contribute sooner rather than later as a third-round pick.
Ragnow is a first-round pick, so those external expectations are probably a little higher for him as he begins to make his own transition to professional football.
Glasgow ended up playing in 15 games at both guard and center as a rookie with 11 starts. In his second season, he was a 16-game starter, and the only Lions player on offense to play every snap.
“I don’t know much (about Ragnow), but from what I’ve heard he’s a hard worker and I think that he’ll fit in well here,” Glasgow said Tuesday.
That hard work will certainly suit Ragnow well, because Glasgow says the toughest part about making the jump from college to professional football for offensive linemen is the consistency needed from week to week.
“Just how good the other guys are you’re playing against on a week to week basis,” Glasgow said. “Like you’re not playing against Michigan State or Ohio State, or in his case Alabama and Auburn, one week and then playing against Vandy or Rutgers the next week.
“Every single D-lineman you’re going against is very good, they’re all professionals, everyone’s getting paid money. So just having a consistency week to week is something that is hard as a young offensive lineman.”
It was something even Glasgow admits he struggled with as a rookie.
“I know that was something that I had to get ironed out when I first got here, and a lot of the older guys helped me out with that,” he said.
Glasgow’s consistency and overall play improved throughout the course of his rookie season, and he took a big leap from year one to two. He was graded the 12th highest left guard among players who played at least 10 games at the position by Pro Football Focus a year ago, and the eighth best center.
The veteran interior linemen in Detroit at the time Glasgow was coming into the league were Larry Warford, Travis Swanson and Garrett Reynolds. They helped Glasgow with his transition to the NFL. Glasgow plans to be a similar sounding board for Ragnow if he wants him to be.
“That's something that (guard) T.J. (Lang) and I will be trying to help out Frank and (tackle) Tyrell (Crosby) with,” Glasgow said of getting the rookie linemen to be consistent from week to week early in their careers.
The Lions want to get Ragnow and Glasgow on the field together before they make any decisions on who will play center and who will play left guard. Glasgow referred to himself as an “interior offensive lineman” on Tuesday.
The offensive line – and really the whole team – has a mandate from GM Bob Quinn to play tougher and be more consistent moving forward.
“I think that is something that we’re working towards. We are working towards being a tough team,” Glasgow said.
“A lot of that I pride myself on. I pride on being tough, I pride on our O-line and offense being tough, and I think we’ve really been going towards that over this (offseason) period so far.”