As we lead up to the NFL Draft here at 1500ESPN, we will take a closer look at the prospects who could end up as Minnesota Vikings. For this edition, we focus on Arkansas center Frank Ragnow…
Why the Vikings could draft Frank Ragnow:
Ragnow might turn out to be a steal-of-the-draft type player. He hasn’t received the type of pre-draft hype that other interior offensive linemen like Will Hernandez, James Daniels and Billy Price have, but Ragnow has two seasons of terrific play against high-level competition. The Minnesota native has experience at center and right guard, where the Vikings have a clear need. While he isn’t quite as quick as some other linemen in the draft, he should still be a fit in the Vikings’ running scheme.
What the experts are saying:
“Three-year starter and team captain who brings a desired level of physical demeanor to the field each game. Ragnow won’t wow you with foot quickness or athleticism, but he takes smart angles to his blocks and shouldn’t be limited by scheme. His size, power, and anchor is a big plus as is his ability to swing over to guard if needed. Ragnow could struggle to stay connected to blocks against athletic interior linemen with quick hands, but his baseline play is equal to a solid NFL starter.”
Pro Football Focus:
“Ragnow checks almost all the boxes one could want from a center other than his health (senior year ended with high-ankle injury). He’s a three-year starter with dominant tape that has experience at both guard (2015) and center (2016 and 2017). The Arkansas center has also done it against top competition in the SEC and never once looked overmatched.”
“Ragnow is the Bradley Chubb of centers. He checks all the boxes. Size, experience, nuanced skill, power. He’s got it all and will be a quality pivot immediately in the NFL. His ankle just needs to be fully cleared.”
What the numbers say:
Ragnow was PFF’s highest-graded center in 2016 and 2017. He graded excellently in both run and pass with his only ding being an above average penalty rate. In the last two seasons, Ragnow has allowed zero sacks, three QB hits and 12 hurries. He did not allow a single QB hit last year.
Graphic via Pro Football Focus
An ankle injury prevented him from doing the 40-yard dash and other running and jumping drills at the combine. As you can see below, Ragnow is very large for an interior lineman at 6-foot-6, 320-pounds.
Graphic via Mockdraftable
As the Vikings consider solutions at right guard, it’s possible Ragnow could be available in the second round. There are also indicators that he could be one of the best linemen in the draft. He checks off a lot of boxes that the Vikings tend to emphasize like the fact that he played in a major conference and has a hard-nosed mentality. Ragnow’s size might not make him the perfect fit, but grading well as a screen blocking gives an indication he could work in space on short throws and zone runs.
Watch Frank Ragnow: