ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Lions have selected Arkansas center Frank Ragnow with the No. 20 overall pick in the NFL draft, hoping to give their lackluster running game a boost.
Detroit desperately needs to improve its ground game and took a step toward that goal Thursday night.
The Lions ranked last in the NFL last year in rushing offense and have been among the league's worst on the ground offensively in recent years.
Ragnow will have a chance to start as a rookie, likely next to guards T.J. Lang and Graham Glasgow. The 6-foot-5, 312-pound Ragnow is a big and powerful lineman, who scouts say has good awareness. His father, Jon, died of a heart attack during the 2016 football season and he continued to play for the Razoarbacks.
The Lions have second- and third-round picks Friday along with slots in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds on Saturday. They went into the draft without a sixth-round selection, giving it up last year to acquire offensive tackle Greg Robinson from the Los Angeles Rams. Robinson started six games for the Lions, who released him in November.
The Lions had relative success a year ago in the draft, getting contributions from seven players it selected.
Detroit won three of their first four games last season and had a 6-4 record, but had setbacks in three of five games to fall out of the playoff picture and the late-season slide cost coach Jim Caldwell his job.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn hired Matt Patricia to lead an NFL team for the first time, reuniting with a coach he worked alongside with the New England Patriots for a dozen years.
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