Ragnow has been first-string for the Lions ever since he was taken with the No. 20 overall pick in 2018. At first, the Lions used the Arkansas product at left guard. In 2019, they shifted him to the middle. He’s started in every game since, save for three missed contests due to injury.
So far, ten players from the 2018 draft class have had their options exercised. In years past, fifth-year option decisions were fairly easy for teams — the additional year was always fairly low risk, because it was only guaranteed in the event of an injury. Now, those extra seasons are fully guaranteed and a little pricier, thanks to performance escalators.
Keeping Ragnow for an extra year, however, was still an easy call for the Lions. Quality young lineman are hard to come by and the Lions want to keep their starting center for the long haul.