Frank Ragnow lauded as the ‘heartbeat’ of Detroit Lions offensive line

Detroit Lions offensive line Frank Ragnow (77) warms up during mini camp at the practice facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
Detroit Lions offensive line Frank Ragnow (77) warms up during mini camp at the practice facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. /

Frank Ragnow is one of the best centers in the NFL, and one analyst thinks this is the season he may really get noticed.

Even after missing all but four games last season, Pro Football Focus recognized Frank Ragnow as the third-best center in the NFL heading toward a new season in 2022. The man in the middle of the Lions’ offensive line earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2020, but on a national scale he’s surely not too well-known.

The Lions drafted Ragnow No. 20 overall in the 2018 draft, out of the University of Arkansas. He was a four-star recruit (via 247 Sports) out of Chanhassen (MN) High School in 2014, with plenty of offers, but it’s not a reach to say his football career has been spent in obscurity.

Such is life when you play interior offensive line for a mid-tier SEC school and thus far a pretty bad NFL team, right?

The Draft Network puts some respect on Frank Ragnow’s name

Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network recently wrote a piece praising Ragnow and lining him up for a bounceback this year. It starts at the end of the opening paragraph, after mention of the Lions in general and moving toward the offensive line.

"One player in particular, former No. 20 overall pick Frank Ragnow, is probably the best offensive lineman in football you haven’t heard about."

There’s more along that line to prove Fowler’s opening punch line, and a lot of it could/should be noted, but let’s cherry pick.

"A dominant physical presence, his ability to displace, re-locate, and well, embarrass defensive linemen has become a weekly trend when you turn on Ragnow’s tape. What makes his skill set so unique is how he uses his size."

Fowler follows with mention of how well Ragnow, at 6-foot-5, gets low to play with great leverage and understands angles.

A bounceback angle feels a little weird, since Ragnow had his best PFF grade in 2021, but it does fit based on how much time he missed last season.

"The heartbeat of an underrated Lions front five touting fellow first-rounders Taylor Decker (2016) and Penei Sewell (2021), after making his first Pro Bowl in the 2020 campaign and with nearly a full calendar year of rest before Week 1, Ragnow looks primed for a massive bounce-back campaign."

Evan Brown filled in capably, and better than expected, for Ragnow last season. But there’s no replacing the heartbeat of an offensive line, and the Lions have theirs back healthy.

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