clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Detroit Lions’ Frank Ragnow named top-3 center by NFL insiders

Despite battling foot injuries for the past 2 seasons, Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow is still considered one of the elite centers in the NFL.

San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

On Saturday, it was revealed that Penei Sewell was considered a top-10 offensive tackle in the NFL, according to an ESPN survey of NFL coaches, executives, players, and scouts. Sunday, another Detroit Lions offensive lineman received the honors.

Per the same survey, center Frank Ragnow was listed as the 10th-best interior offensive lineman, combining both centers and guards. Among just centers, Ragnow was third on the list, trailing just Jason Kelce (sixth overall) and Creed Humphrey (eighth)

“He looked more like himself as the year went on,” an anonymous NFL player said. “He was elite before the injury and got back to that place. He’s a great communicator at the line, makes all the calls, plays with leverage and physicality.”

The injury this player is referring to is the toe injury that cost Ragnow 13 games in 2021. Although he had surgery on the toe, he suffered another, separate injury to the toe in Week 3 of the 2022 season. The injury clearly lingered all year, as he was regularly in a walking boot after games and throughout the week of practice.

“This has been probably the hardest year of my career, besides the year my dad passed,” Ragnow said in December. “Just, it’s a lot to go through. It’s not even the pain for me, it’s just when somethings not working with your body, it’s the confidence, it’s the doubt, it’s all that kind of stuff–the focus–that comes with the pain.”

Despite the struggles through pain, Ragnow made the Pro Bowl in 2022—the second time in his career he earned such honors. It was well-earned, too. Ragnow earned PFF’s fifth-highest grade (77.9) among NFL centers last year despite the constant struggles through injury.

Ragnow enters 2023—just the sixth year of his career—still dealing with the toe injury. However, he sounded optimistic about it not being as big of an issue this season, even though there’s not an operation that can “fix” his turf toe.

”Hopefully it scars over, and that’s kind of how it’s been and it’s a lot better,” Ragnow told the Detroit Free Press.

In case you’re wondering, Jonah Jackson—a 2021 Pro Bowler—did not receive a vote in this survey.

NEW: Join Pride of Detroit Direct

Jeremy Reisman will drop into your inbox twice a week to provide exclusive, in-depth reporting and insights from Ford Field. Subscribe to go deeper into Lions fandom, and join us on our path to win the Super Bowl.