Healthy Ragnow shows off at Arkansas Razorbacks' pro day

By: Bob Holt
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Arkansas offensive lineman Frank Ragnow runs during the Razorbacks' Pro Day on Monday, March 26, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas offensive lineman Frank Ragnow runs during the Razorbacks' Pro Day on Monday, March 26, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- If NFL teams had questions about offensive lineman Frank Ragnow's recovery from ankle surgery, they were answered Monday when the Arkansas Razorbacks held their pro day.

"Frank just made himself a lot of money," said Austin Allen, the Razorbacks' starting quarterback the previous two seasons. "He's a special player, and he's going to make a team real happy.

"He's going to get drafted high, and he's going to play a long time. He was the best lineman in the country in my eyes, and then he got hurt. People started questioning whether he was healthy, and seeing him be able to come out here and do what he did, it's great for him."

Scouts and coaches from all 32 NFL teams witnessed Ragnow show off a vertical leap of 33½ inches, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds, had a broad jump of 9 feet, 7 inches and bench-pressed 225 pounds 27 times during workouts inside the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville's Walker Pavilion.

"It felt great," Ragnow said. "You don't really feel like an athlete when you're hurt. So that was good to be back out there."

Ragnow, 6-5 and 310 pounds, started 33 consecutive games for the Razorbacks -- including 19 at center and 14 at right guard -- before suffering a season-ending left ankle injury against Auburn on Oct. 21 that required surgery.

Despite the injury, Ragnow was rated by Pro Football Focus as the nation's top center last season as well as in 2016.

"Frank looked amazing," former Arkansas running back David Williams said of Monday's workouts. "The last time I saw him he was rolling around on a scooter with a cast on.

"For him to come out and perform at the level he did was amazing."

The left ankle has felt 100 percent for the last month, Ragnow said, but he waited to work out for NFL teams until Monday to give him adequate time to train for the drills. He attended the NFL scouting combine in late February, but he limited his participation to interviews and physical exams.

Ragnow trained and continued rehabilitation work on his ankle near his home in Victoria, Minn., in recent weeks.

"Not many people go up to Minnesota to train," he said. "Everybody goes to Arizona or California or whatnot.

"I've kind of been alone in the snow training. So it's good to show off a little bit and not be by myself."

Ragnow said he preferred to train in Minnesota to be near his mother and because a good training and rehab facility recommended by one of his agents, Joe Panos, is a short drive from his family's home.

"So it all worked out really well," he said. "I'm very happy with my day. I felt like my numbers were right where I wanted them."

Ragnow's marks Monday compared favorably to those by offensive linemen at the combine. His vertical jump and broad jump would have ranked second among 36 linemen, his 40 time fifth and bench-press repetitions eighth.

"Frank checked all the boxes," Panos said. "He did exactly what he's shown on film. He's going to be a special player in the NFL."

The only drill in which Ragnow was displeased was his 27 repetitions on the bench press. He said he's done as many as 36 during workouts.

On Monday, he stopped briefly in the middle of the bench press.

"I stopped breathing," he said. "I forgot how to breath, so not good technique."

Ragnow also did some individual work against the NFL coaches.

"It's cool to get that," Ragnow said. "Each coach has different lingo, kind of their way of teaching everything. So you've got to take it and put it in your repertoire."

Ragnow said teams have talked to him about playing center as well as guard.

"It's a team-to-team scenario," he said. "Really, whatever they need."

Ragnow said there were some nerves before the workouts.

"I had quite a bit of butterflies [Sunday] night," he said. "But I got back on the home turf and felt like myself again."

The NFL Draft is April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Ragnow will have several visits and personal workouts with teams prior to the draft.

"I'll be busy, thankfully, leading up to it," Ragnow said. "So I won't get much time to think. I'm sure I'll go through some times where I'm a little bit antsy. But it's a dream come true."

Sports on 03/27/2018

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