Newly-Minted Underrated Lions’ Pro Bowler Hailed ‘Terrific Player’

Frank Ragnow

Getty Frank Ragnow gets a touchdown ball from Shane Zylstra in 2022.

The Detroit Lions are having a solid rebound season, and as a result of that, the team is seeing plenty of their more underrated players get major credit.

With the team’s offensive line starting to take on the look of a dominating outfit, center Frank Ragnow has already arrived to all those who pay attention, including Scott Pioli of the NFL Network.

Recently, Pioli was talking about offensive line play in a segment on Good Morning Football, and as he explained, Ragnow is a guy who might not get much publicity, but is quietly super elite on the field.

“When you talk about the offensive lines, a lot of people like to talk about the tackles. Yeah, Taylor Decker’s playing well. Yeah, Penei Sewell is playing well. To me, the guy that is making the difference for the Lions and their offensive line is center Frank Ragnow. Ragnow was picked in the first-round back in 2018. He was one of my absolute favorite players in that draft because he is smart, he is disciplined, he is tough. When you watch him in games, he is one that is identifying the defense,” Pioli said.

As a result of that work, Pioli thinks that Ragnow has elevated the play of all his teammates including his quarterback.

“I believe his intelligence and his ability to see things and point things out has really helped Jared Goff a better player, has helped him become more confident. Rarely if ever in passing situations do you see the pocket seep and leak and that is because of Ragnow. Frank Ragnow is a terrific player. The Lions made him the highest-paid center in the NFL this season, and if you watch Lions football you’ll understand exactly why,” he said.

Folks around the league agreed, and Ragnow was added to his second Pro Bowl. If you’d ask Pioli, he’d likely tell you that isn’t a surprise at all for the gritty center given all he means to his roster and his offense.

It’s nice to see Ragnow get some credit from a former key personnel executive in New England as well as a general manager in the league in Kansas City. Pioli knows talent, and seems to see it in Ragnow.

Lions Surprised Ragnow With Pro Bowl Nod

It can be an emotional experience for a player to get elected to a Pro Bowl, and that was the case for Ragnow, who had no idea about the news in real-time.

Ragnow was surprised by Lions brass including general manager Brad Holmes on Wednesday, December 21 after practice with news that he had been selected to the Pro Bowl. It was a significant honor, and perhaps even a relief to Ragnow, who may have thought he was receiving some bad news from the team.

“I think everybody in this building knows you’re the ultimate iron man. You’re all grit. You’re all grit man. You’re everything we’re about as a football team. But also everybody outside the building is seeing that too, and that’s why you’ve been elected to the Pro Bowl,” Holmes says in the clip.

Ragnow, of course, is overwhelmed and gets love from Hank Fraley, the offensive line coach in addition to Dan Campbell as well as team president Rod Wood. Fraley teases him about providing a speech, but Ragnow admits he has nothing.

“I got nothing to say, I got to go to treatment,” Ragnow says with a smile, perfectly incapsulating his business-first mentality.

Ragnow’s Outstanding Work Made Lions’ History

Already a Pro Bowler once in 2020, Ragnow earning the honor again puts him in some rarified air in Detroit history.

According to the team’s PR account, Ragnow is one of just three other centers in team history to crack multiple Pro Bowls for their work on the field, joining Kevin Glover and Ed Flanagan for their work.

“Lions center Frank Ragnow was named to his second Pro Bowl last night. He joins Kevin Glover (1996-98) and Ed Flanagan (1970-72, 1974) as the only Lions centers to earn multiple Pro Bowl berths. Ragnow has allowed only 1.0 sack in 1,183 pass-blocking snaps over the past 3 seasons,” the account tweeted.

Clearly, as Pioli explained, Ragnow cannot be underrated for his work anymore. He has officially arrived on the scene, and is a major reason the Detroit offensive line is playing so well in 2022.

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