For all of the bad things about the Detroit Lions’ 2018 season, one of the biggest bright spots is Bob Quinn’s rookie draft class. The Lions got meaningful contributions from their top four picks, and each one of them played extremely promising. Da’Shawn Hand made PFF’s All-Rookie team as a fourth rounder, Frank Ragnow played nearly every single snap and helped produce a run game in Detroit, Kerryon Johnson finished with the second-highest yards per carry in the league, and Tracy Walker looks like the Lions’ safety of the future.
But as many coaches will tell you, the rookie season is just the tip of the iceberg. Many—but not all—rookies take a huge step in Year 2, and Lions general manager Bob Quinn explained part of why that is on Friday.
“So, what they do in the offseason is really dramatically changed from what they used to do because last January and February, Kerryon Johnson, Frank Ragnow, DeShawn Hand, what are they doing? They’re training for the Combine,” Quinn said.
So with a full offseason to train and get their body ready for the 2019 season, today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player are you hoping makes the biggest Year 1 to Year 2 jump?
My answer: Frank Ragnow. While Ragnow’s rookie season was far from bad, I think many had higher expectations for the man that didn’t give up a single sack in college. It was a learning experience for Ragnow, who had to face the likes of Aaron Donald and Linval Joseph in his rookie year.
Ragnow earned just a 61.9 PFF grade this year, good for just 39th among NFL guards. There’s a lot of room to grow there, but he showed enough signs of toughness and improvement to believe he could be what the Lions were hoping he’d be when they took him in the first round of the draft.
If he can improve, there’s no reason the Lions offense can’t rebound in a serious way in 2019 and take this team back to relevancy in December.