Name: Frank Ragnow
Ragnow, a starter at both center and guard during his Arkansas career, is a pure mauler in the run game. He delivers a good initial blow and finishes blocks with fervor. He has strong hands that allow him to get inside defenders and hold control, so he general maintains his block once he establishes it. He is a step slow, especially in space, and occasionally that causes him to stand straight up. Arkansas ran very little power with Ragnow as lead guard so there is not much tape of him pulling. His heavy feet may leave some pause as to how he will transition to the pro level. But Ragnow’s best trait is his eyes. While engaged, his head is constantly on a swivel, looking for the next block, and his instincts are usually correct. That provides assurance as to his ability to play guard in the NFL.
Ragnow has long arms that allow him to keep separation. His pass set is a little higher than desired for a guard, but he maintains good balance and footwork, as well as active hands. His strong punch and lower body strength will make him at least a solid pass protector at the next level. Again, his slow feet bring some questions. But against SEC defensive linemen, Ragnow never looked over-matched. His strong arms allowed him to contain and ride quick defenders, so he allowed very little pressure. Plus, once again, his eyes and instincts are tremendous and allow him to pick up stunts fairly well.
Ragnow has pretty typical NFL guard size at 6-foot-5, 309. He has good burst off the ball and a quick first step, though his subsequent steps are a little slower. He relies more on his power in both the run and pass game than he does on quick feet. But that has worked well for him, as his power is elite. He has good body control, staying on his feet more often than not and he rarely wastes movement. Ragnow almost never loses battles of strength, getting good push at the line and standing up well to bull rushes. Ideally, for a guard of his size, he would have a little more straight line speed. But he should have enough to be a solid in pulling and screens at the next level.
The biggest question mark is his injury history. Though he maintained good health through most of his Arkansas career, he did suffer a season-ending high ankle sprain in October. Doctor’s reports on the state of this injury will have a significant impact on his draft stock.
Guard is the only pressing need the Vikings have right now. Ragnow has ideal size for the position and an on-field nastiness that would certainly come in handy in a run-heavy offense like the Vikings’. He certainly has the strength and power to stand up to some of the league’s dominant defensive tackles. The question will mainly be if he has the quickness to hold down the likes of Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox.
Ragnow projects to be a late-second, early-third round pick. In that range, Ragnow would fit perfectly into the Vikings’ system. He has the pedigree and physicality to function in any system, especially one as balanced as Minnesota’s. Bottom line is this: Whatever physical weaknesses Ragnow has displayed, they rarely, if ever, negatively impacted his play in college. He always stood up to the steepest of competition, even as the rest of his Razorbacks squad struggled mightily in 2017. Ragnow is a high-character player with a floor of solid NFL starter.
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