ARLINGTON, Texas – Frank Ragnow became the second-highest drafted University of Arkansas offensive lineman in NFL Draft history when the Detroit Lions called his name in the first round with the No. 20 overall pick Thursday night. He is the third Razorback drafted by the Lions in the last five drafts, joining defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter (2017) and center Travis Swanson (2014).
Ragnow is the first center the Lions have selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in the common draft era.
LIONS GENERAL MANAGER BOB QUINN ON RAGNOW
“Productive player in the SEC. Three-year starter along the offensive line. Played multiple positions. A tough football player. Position versatility. Smart guy. Hard worker. Everything we’re about is kind of what he is. We got some word from a few teams after us that they were interested in him as well, so I think the time was right to pick him.”
LIONS HEAD COACH MATT PATRICIA ON RAGNOW
“We got a guy that’s smart, tough football (player) that can help us run the ball and help us protect our quarterback, and someone that can play a couple different positions inside, so we’re excited. This is a guy that (has) great traits, great character, hard worker, everything that we’re about. Blue-collar type of guy that we know is just going to make us tougher up front.”
FIRST ROUND HOGS
Ragnow is the 23rd first-round pick in school history and the first since running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were both picked in the first round in 2008. He becomes the second offensive lineman in school history selected in the first round of an NFL Draft, joining Shawn Andrews, who was selected 16th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004.
DRAFTED FROM THE TRENCHES
Ragnow is the 63rd player in program history selected as an offensive lineman in the NFL Draft dating back to 1939 and the first since 2016 when Sebastian Tretola was selected in the sixth round (193 overall) by the Tennessee Titans.
RAGNOW’S CAREER AT A GLANCE
An All-American and the nation’s top-graded center by Pro Football Focus each of the last two seasons, Ragnow was a three-year starter for the Razorbacks and team captain as a senior. A native of Victoria, Minnesota, he played in 42 games with 33 consecutive starts, participating in 2,603 snaps and never allowing a sack. Ragnow mostly played center his junior and senior seasons but also played 15 career games at right guard. Prior to a season-ending injury in the seventh game of 2017, he only missed 43 offensive snaps since becoming a permanent starter as a sophomore in 2015. Ragnow is a two-time member of the Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll who graduated with a degree in recreation and sport management in December 2017.
AS A SENIOR IN 2017
• Named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports.
• Earned second-team All-America honors from the FWAA and Phil Steele and third-team status from the AP.
• Led all FBS offensive linemen with a 93.7 overall grade, according to Pro Football Focus.
• Paced all centers with a 92.4 grade in the run game to go with an 88.3 mark in pass protection in eight games played.
• Allowed only one pressure on his 255 pass blocking snaps.
• Posted at least an 85 percent game grade in five different games.
• Entered the season as a consensus All-American, landing on 11 preseason All-America lists.
AS A JUNIOR IN 2016
• The nation’s best offensive lineman, best run blocker and a first-team All-American by PFF
• His 94.5 Pro Football Focus grade is the highest-graded individual season by a center in the PFF era.
• Cleared the way for Rawleigh Williams III to capture the SEC regular-season rushing title and finish with 1,360 yards.
• Provided time for quarterback Austin Allen to throw for an SEC-best 3,430 yards.
• Blocked for nine 100+ yard rushing games, including seven from Williams and two from Devwah Whaley.
• Top-graded center in the nation by PFF twice for his performances in wins over No. 11 Florida and at Mississippi State.
• Graded out as a top three center in five of 12 regular-season games.
• Earned an 80 percent grade or higher from PFF seven times.
• SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week on Sept. 18, 2016, for his efforts in his start at right guard against Texas State.
• Helped lead an offensive line that blocked for 428.4 yards of total offense per game.
• Helped the offense log both 200 yards passing and rushing in the same game five times.
AS A SOPHOMORE IN 2015
• Started all 13 games at right guard.
• Helped Arkansas lead the SEC in fewest sacks allowed for the third straight season.
• Paved the way for running back Alex Collins to run for over 1,500 yards.
• Collins became just the third player in SEC history with three straight 1,000-yard campaigns to begin his career.
• Collins tied for the SEC lead with 10 100-yard rushing games, equaling McFadden’s program single-season record.
• Arkansas led the SEC with five 200-yard rushing games in league play and had a total of eight on the year.
AS A FRESHMAN IN 2014
• Earned All-Freshman team honors from the SEC’s head coaches.
• Saw action in nine contests as a true freshman center.
• Blocked for running backs Collins (1,100 yards rushing) and Jonathan Williams (1,190 yards rushing).
• Collins and Williams were the only FBS teammates to each rush for 1,000-plus yards in the 2014 season.
• Helped protect quarterback Brandon Allen as the offensive line led the SEC with 14 sacks allowed.