With their first selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected Frank Ragnow from Arkansas. Ragnow put forth a dominant career with the Razorbacks when he was on the field, including two of the three highest grades we’ve even given to a center since we began grading college football.
Ragnow becomes the first draft pick of new head coach Matt Patricia as the new staff in Detroit has made a strong effort to get better at the line of scrimmage. Ragnow will now be a key cog in doing so as he can either anchor the line from center while he has also shown an ability to play guard as well.
Fellow former SEC players join Ragnow as Kerryon Johnson joins the team at running back from Auburn and Da’Shawn Hand who went against Ragnow during his time at Alabama on the defensive interior. Johnson had an excellent year in 2017 finishing with an overall grade of 87.8 and resembles the style of play of an Arian Foster. Hand finished his career at Alabama on a sour note and an overall grade of 75.1. He seemingly never lived up to his high school billing as a five-star recruit but did show flashes of what he can bring to the table as both a run-stopper and a pass-rusher from the middle.
Tracy Walker of Louisiana was brought in with the Lions third-round pick as he converted to the slot during his final collegiate season. He has proven to be a better run defender than coverage defender so he’ll have to hone in his skills if he’s to cover the talent pool at wide receiver in the NFC North.
Tyrell Crosby was added in the fifth-round as some saw injury concerns with the former Oregon Duck, prompting his slide out of Days 1 and 2. Crosby allowed just seven total pressures at left tackle for Oregon last season and has the size and power to move to the interior on the offensive line for the Lions.
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