Over the past week, ESPN has been running its annual top-10 position list for the 2022 NFL season. These lists are not the opinions of ESPN writer, but rather the result of a sampling from NFL executives, coaches, scouts and players. All week, ESPN ran down the top-10 players at defensive positions, and, unsurprisingly, no Detroit Lions players made a list or even got a nod in the honorable mention section.
However, on Sunday, ESPN dipped into the offense. and they started with a position the Lions could have a couple of contenders for a top-10 ranking: interior offensive line. Center Frank Ragnow earned second-team All Pro in 2020, and left guard Jonah Jackson earned a Pro Bowl nod last season.
Unfortunately, both were snubbed by NFL insiders, as neither made the top-10.
With Jackson, it’s certainly understandable. Last year, he was originally a second alternate for the Pro Bowl, and his game still has a long ways to go before he can be seriously considered an elite talent at his position.
It’s a little less excusable to exclude Ragnow from the list. Last year, Ragnow was fourth on the list, ranking as the highest center in the NFL. Ragnow’s drop this year is likely entirely based on him missing 13 games last year due to a foot injury. That seems like a poor excuse to drop someone from four to out of the rankings entirely, especially since this injury is not expected to impact Ragnow at all this year, and he is still just 26 years old.
That said, Ragnow did get an honorable mention in the piece, and got high praise from an anonymous NFC scout.
“You can do just about anything with him as an offense. He can run the show up front, and he’s athletic and versatile to get on the move and play in space.”
Three centers made the list above Ragnow: Buccaneers’ Ryan Jensen, Eagles’ Jason Kelce and former Packer turned Charger Corey Linsley. It’s worth noting that all three of those players are 30 years or older.