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Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Quinn was available to the media following the team’s first-round (20th overall) selection of C Frank Ragnow, here’s what he had to say.

Opening statement: “Had a good night tonight. Added Frank Ragnow to our roster. Productive player in the SEC, three-year starter along the offensive line, played multiple positions. Brings a tough football player, position versatility, hard-worker. Everything we’re about is kind of what he is, so at that point in time it was a real easy pick. He was a guy we kind of had our eyes on for a while and it kind of worked out that way.”

On when he dialed in on Frank Ragnow being the possible selection at 20th overall: “I’m not sure when I actually dialed in. I think the first time I watched him play on tape I kind of thought, ‘Wow, this guy’s a really good player.’ Going back the last couple weeks as we fine-tuned the board and kind of see who was there and who might be available, it was pretty clear that he would probably be there. We thought it was going to be close. I think we got some word from a few teams after us that they were interested in him as well, so I think the time was right to pick him.”

On if there were any special precautions he took to keep the team’s interest in Ragnow under the radar: “Yeah, the last time we talked to him was at the Combine. We had a good meeting there. He was a guy that was pretty clean through the process. He’s coming back from an injury that he missed the second half of the season with an ankle. Other than the injury, he was a real, clean prospect that I didn’t really feel like we needed to do a whole lot of extra work on in terms of visit here or private workout or any of those things.”

On why the offensive line has been such a priority for him: “I think it starts in the trenches. I think it starts up front. We want to build through the middle of our team, through the offensive line, defensive line and through the middle. And that’s kind of what we believe in. I think going through the evaluation process, there was a number of players on the board that we liked. We just thought at the end of the day, Frank was the best player at that time. The guy that can help us the most, the quickest and real excited about the pick.”

On how the defensive players taken before Detroit’s pick impacted the team’s first-round selection: “Everything that happened in the first 19 picks affected who we picked. I mean, that’s how the draft goes. We had some of those defensive guys rated pretty high, too. At the end of the day, we got a guy that we’re really happy about, we really liked from the start, so I’m excited about it.”

On how he will go about determining where players fit on the offensive line between Ragnow and Lions G/C Graham Glasgow: “Yeah, I think once Frank gets here and we talk to him a little bit more, put him in our program, put him in our scheme, kind of see how he progresses through the rest of the offseason program and into OTA’s—Listen, we don’t play a game until August, so I think we have a lot of time to figure it out. The good thing is you’re exactly right, we’ve got two guys that are versatile that can play multiple spots. So, I think we have a lot of options.”

On what position he has in mind for Ragnow: “He’s an interior offensive lineman. So, we’ll figure it out as it goes.”

On what challenges a rookie may face playing the center position: “I think the offensive line in general is pretty challenging as a rookie. I think Frank’s extremely smart. He’s got a ton of experience in the SEC. So, I don’t think if he had to play center, I don’t think there would be much of a drop off. I think, look back the last couple years, there’s been a lot of rookie centers that get drafted in the first round, they end up playing right away. Listen, whatever position we play him at, if he’s ready to play it, we’ll put him in there. If he’s not ready to play, we won’t put him in there. But I feel real confident that he’s going to help our team.”

On if he asked former Lions C Travis Swanson about Ragnow in the past: “I did not.”

On how much he hopes Ragnow helps in the running game and protecting QB Matthew Stafford: “That’s what an offensive lineman does, right? He’s a run blocker and he’s a pass protector. Those are the two things that he’s paid to do and I think he does both of them equally as well. You watch him play in Arkansas’ offense in the SEC against the best defenses I would say in the country and he played his best games against the best defenses. And that goes both as a run blocker and pass protection. He played multiple positions. Started at guard as a sophomore, started at center as a junior. Started this season primarily at center, but he did start one game at guard as well against Alabama.”

On how active his phone was in the first round regarding trades: “We had numerous conversations, numerous conversations in the picks leading up to ours. The phone was ringing. We were making calls, so pretty much normal. You have a couple guys on the board you like, you want to go up and get one, or you want to move back, so it was pretty active.”

On if he wanted Ragnow with the 20th overall pick or if he just did not have sufficient trade offers: “We had multiple offers on the table for our pick.”

On if there was more of a need to try to trade up or down from his draft selection: “There wasn’t one way or another. I think it was about equal this year. We had a bunch of calls and I think probably about half were going up and about half were to move down. So, it was a normal year. I think like I said earlier, we’ve had a good experience in this 16-21 range, so we kind of know what it is. You know you’re going to get calls one way or the other. And you’ve just got to be prepared to move up to get someone, or stick (and) take someone, or move back. And that’s what we did this year and we felt really good about it.”

On if he entered the night with a preference toward offensive linemen: “My preference was to add a good player and I think we did. You know, I don’t think I’m going to go into who I had ranked which way. But I’ll say this, at the end of the day, we were very excited when we took this player.”

On which games from Ragnow’s career at Arkansas stood out on tape: “Yeah, this year, I mean, he got hurt about midway through the season with the ankle, so Texas A&M this year, Alabama he played guard. We went back and watched him as a sophomore in 2015 when he was a really young guy playing against a couple guys, one guy we have on our team. So, you pick a game, I don’t think it really matters which one you watch. It was pretty consistent.”

On what game from Ragnow’s tape initially caught his eye: “Yeah, I don’t know exactly what game it was. I remember I put on a couple games, watched some film on him on a Saturday I think it was. Just kind of had it in my notes that I liked this guy. Then as we went through the process, as we, you know, our coaches met with him at the Combine, I met with him at the Combine, he just stood out.”

On what made him go with Ragnow over other players still on the board: “Yeah, I’m not going to get into a blow-by-blow of my evaluation of those guys. I’ll just tell you that we obviously had Frank higher on the board than all those guys and we think he’s a better fit for us.”

On if the first round tonight really surprised him: “Not really. Actually, it went pretty, I mean, the teams that drafted the players were maybe a few surprises here and there. But I think the positions and the number of players at each position was about what we thought, so there really wasn’t a ton of surprises. I mean, there was a lot of movement, but in terms of the pure, the 19 players that went in front of us, I think we kind of saw that coming.”

On how he feels about the talent in the second round: “The board looks good. I think there’s plenty of options of where we’re taking. So, we’ll get in tomorrow morning, kind of reset the board a little bit, look at our options, what we think might be there and then kind of evaluate what our options are, going up, moving back. Same thing we did today, so it’s the same process for the second round. It’s the beauty of how they have the draft set up this year, I mean, the last however many years, that you have your first round, then you get the night to think about it. You get to come in the next morning, you get to look at the draft board. You can reset it if you want to reset it. You can make calls, so it’s like the first round all over again.”

On how the quarterbacks ended up falling in this draft: “Wasn’t really surprised. You know, it think the Baker Mayfield pick is interesting. I mean, the guy’s a good football player. I don’t think everyone, you know, a week ago would have thought he was going to go No. 1 overall, but I wasn’t totally shocked about that myself. You know, it’s interesting to see some of the players that teams took that we’re going to play, so that’s kind of – We sit there in the Top 10 and kind of say, ‘All right, well, we’re going to see that guy, we’re going to see that guy, we won’t see this guy,’ so that’s kind of the way we look at things.”

On placing high value on offensive linemen with versatility: “When it comes down to it, you know, during the regular season we have 46 spots on the gameday roster. So, we bring seven linemen (that) are dressed, so you’ve got to do the math. If you have seven linemen dressed, guys have got to play multiple positions if someone gets hurt. Even if you started one position and someone gets hurt at another position, maybe you move and someone comes in to your spot. So that’s, when you’re building the roster, it’s not just offensive line. It goes for anything. It’s a receiver that can play inside and outside, it’s a corner that can play inside and outside, it’s a linebacker that can play on the ball and can play off the ball. You name the position, if they have versatility, they’re more valuable to your team just by the way the small number of players that we can bring to the game on Sundays.”

On what it means to reset the draft board: “No, you just, you kind of reset your needs, right? You look at it and say, ‘All right, well, we filled one need.’ And then you kind of look at the board and say, ‘All right, well, these are our next needs. How can we reset the board based on what is going to be available and what teams are picking ahead of us?’ We’re not moving guys like crazy up and down. It’s more just a reset of our thinking and our strategy more towards getting the best player we can in the second round.”

In addition, Ragnow was also available to media via conference call. Read comments from his conference HERE

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