Reporters will get their first glimpse of Detroit Lions first-round pick Frank Ragnow at this week’s open OTA practice. Early observations from Ragnow's new teammates are that the rookie has come to Detroit ready to work.
The smartest thing a rookie like Ragnow can do in the first weeks of his professional career is come in with his head down ready to work, and be willing to learn as much as he can from the coaches and veteran players around him.
In Ragnow’s case, he has a nice collection of veterans around him to help show him the ropes.
“He seems like a good kid,” T.J. Lang recently said of Ragnow. “Smart guy. Works hard. Anytime you can add another good player to your group, it’s going to raise the competition for everybody and make everybody better. Everybody is excited to have him in the room.”
Ragnow is expected to play either center or left guard in the fall, though exactly which one still has to work itself out. Veteran Graham Glasgow, who like Ragnow can play both center and guard, will likely play the other spot.
Having experience playing both guard and center early in his career makes Glasgow a terrific sounding board for Ragnow. Glasgow said he and the other veteran linemen will try and help Ragnow and the other rookies along as best they can.
“Just having consistency week to week is something that is hard as a young offensive lineman,” Glasgow said. “I know that was something that I had to get ironed out when I first got here. A lot of the older guys helped me out with that and that’s something that T.J. (Lang) and I will be trying to help out Frank and (rookie tackle) Tyrell (Crosby) with.”
Ragnow was the nation’s top graded center by Pro Football Focus as both a junior and senior in college. He was a three-year starter and team captain, playing in 42 games with 33 consecutive starts. He saw action in 2,603 offensive snaps, and never allowed a sack in his four-year career, per Arkansas statistics.
Lions second-year linebacker, and former first-round pick himself, Jarrad Davis, was impressed with Ragnow when the two battled it out in the SEC, and likes what he’s seen and heard in the brief time Ragnow’s been in Allen Park.
“I knew he was a ball player when he played at Arkansas,” said Davis, who last played against Ragnow in 2016. “That offensive line and the way they ran the ball on us that game, I think that season that was the most yards we gave up at that point in the season rushing.”
Arkansas ran for 223 yards in that contest on the way to a 31-10 win over Davis’ Florida Gators in Fayetteville.
“He was a guy that definitely held it down in the middle for them and I see him in the weight room working now and I hear a lot of coaches saying great things about him, so I think he’s going to come a long way and really help us out a lot,” Davis said.
The Lions have made a concerted effort this offseason to get more physical. Ragnow’s selection with the 20th overall pick was a piece to that puzzle.
Early indications are that he’s come to Detroit with the right mind set, work ethic and willingness to learn from veterans. That’s a good place to start a career.