Detroit News reporters discuss the Lions' first-round options and what the team needs to accomplish over the entire NFL Draft. The Detroit News
Allen Park — Frank Ragnow didn't realize how much he needed this offseason.
Like nearly every rookie, Ragnow didn't get much of a break leading up to his first NFL season. First, he had to rehab a broken ankle before going straight into preparing for the draft, making sure he could run faster and jump higher than he ever had before.
And then there's the mental anxiety of not knowing where you'll be playing and living the next few years of your life. A year later and Ragnow still says he had zero indication the Detroit Lions were interested in selecting him in the first round.
Ragnow started all 16 games for the Lions last season, missing just one snap when his shoe fell apart in the middle of a game. Overall, he played well, battling through some typical rookie consistencies and difficult matchups, notable struggling against All-Pro Aaron Donald.
The biggest lesson Ragnow took from his rookie campaign was learning the confidence to know he belonged.
"There's so many lessons in your rookie year it's ridiculous," Ragnow said. "I think one thing that I thought of right there is confidence. It's so important in an offensive lineman and in the NFL in general, just trying to keep my head. There were a few games where maybe the game got too big for me or I was like, 'Whoa, that guy's good,' but you have to keep your confidence. You're here for a reason. I was picked where I was for a reason. I'm the football player I am today for a reason."
This offseason, Ragnow has spent time recharging his batteries, developing a routine and embracing his new life as a Michigander. With his free time, he's familiarized himself with some of the state's premier fishing hot spots.
"You know, Lake St. Clair is pretty money. It’s pretty impressive," he said. "The Detroit River, it’s kind of a walleye run right now. I’ve made friends with a couple local guys that really know what they’re doing out there.
"So I’ve been able to learn a lot and it’s been fun."
Ragnow said he's been managed to reel in a seven-pound walleye and a 4.5-pound small mouth bass in recent weeks.