Ragnow wasn't featured heavily in first-round mock predictions leading up to the draft. B/R's Matt Miller projected him to go in the middle of the second round in his final mock.
With the Lions going after a center to protect quarterback Matthew Stafford, Twitter had different reactions to the move:
Michael Rothstein @mikerothstein
This is a stunner, the Lions taking center Frank Ragnow from Arkansas. It'll solidify the team's offensive line, but Detroit passed on a bunch of defensive options for it. Ragnow replaces Travis Swanson, another center from Arkansas. This is a weird one. https://t.co/xcCK3lEFXZ
Offensive line wasn't a particular area of need for the Lions, but the team is undergoing a change in identity with new head coach Matt Patricia coming over from the New England Patriots.
The Lions have had problems establishing an identity in the running game for years. Reggie Bush was their last 1,000-yard rusher during the 2013 season.
Ragnow has earned high marks for his ability to open up holes for running backs, per Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson:
"Ragnow, in fact, had the best percentage of negative run-block grades among centers last season and a top five mark in the nation the season before. In 2016, he led the nation in percentage of positive run blocks and ranked sixth in the same statistic this season before going down.
"While [Quenton] Nelson embodies the nasty, dominant finishing and raw power that many people look for in offensive line prospects, Ragnow more typifies the player that just gets the job done, regardless of how pretty it looks."
Patricia is a former defensive coordinator who may want to bring that kind of toughness and physical style of play to Detroit with Ragnow. He's also getting extra protection for Stafford, who has been sacked at least 37 times in each of the past four seasons, to ensure the quarterback stays healthy for a long time.