FAYETTEVILLE Former Arkansas center Frank Ragnow was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 20th pick of the NFL Draft on Thursday.
Ragnow was the first center taken in the draft. In Detroit he fills a vacancy created when former Arkansas center Travis Swanson left for the New York Jets via free agency earlier this month.
Swanson was a third-round pick of the Lions in 2014 and started 42 games in four seasons, but he suffered season-ending concussions the past two seasons. Starting guard Graham Glasgow moved to center to replace Swanson both years.
Ragnow is the first Arkansas player selected in the first round since running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were taken with the fourth and 22nd picks, respectively, in 2008.
Ragnow is the second Arkansas offensive lineman drafted in the first round. Shawn Andrews was drafted 16th overall in 2004.
The Razorbacks have had 22 first-round picks all-time.
Ragnow, 21, watched the draft from his family home in Victoria, Minn., with about 50 family members and friends. Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman, Ragnow's former position coach who recruited him to play for the Razorbacks, was among those in attendance.
At Arkansas, Ragnow played in 42 games and started 33 consecutive games at right guard or center before suffering a season-ending ankle injury last October. Ragnow was the nation's top-rated center as a junior and senior, according to Pro Football Focus, and did not allow a sack in 2,603 career snaps.