Ezekiel Ansah Scouting Report
Ezekiel Ansah, 6-5/274
By Charlie Campbell
Excellent speed to turn the corner
Agility to sink his hips/shoulder to get leverage on tackles
Has a powerful bull rush
Has the strength to anchor and hold his ground vs. the run
Versatile to play end or tackle on passing downs
Great leaping ability
Lined up in a variety of spots
Needs to improve awareness
Needs to improve instincts
Ansah is this year's version of Chandler Jones or Jason Pierre-Paul; players with little college production but great athletes who have huge upside for the NFL. Ansah is extremely fast, strong and explosive. He has the ability to beat offensive linemen with his power and speed. He possesses the potential to be a big-time impact player.
Ansah barely played prior to his senior season. He had a total of 10 tackles as a junior and sophomore. When he got on the field in 2012, he had a big impact. The senior totaled 62 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, nine passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception. BYU used Ansah in a variety of places as a tackle and end. Playing on the inside of the defensive line wasn't a great fit for Ansah, but he battled hard against heavier guards.
At the Senior Bowl, Ansah showed off his great skill set. The week in Mobile could be indicative of how Ansah's career will trend in the NFL. Early in the week, he was quiet as he was getting his bearings against the higher level of competition. Steadily, he improved to more frequently flash his superb athletic skill with the size, power and speed to be a force. At the end of the week, Ansah was dominant. He was shoving linemen aside and exploding into the backfield.
Ansah could be an impact pass-rusher. He has the power to line up with his hand in the ground and be a 4-3 defensive end. It is amazing how much speed and explosion he has for a heavy edge defender. For a 3-4 defense, Ansah can explode off the edge. He also has the athleticism to drop into coverage and move well in space. His great leaping ability should help him downfield but also at the line of scrimmage. Ansah has a ton of upside and he definitely has his best football ahead him. He could turn into a dominant edge defender that consistently produces sacks and splash plays.
Ansah looks like a top-20 pick in the draft. The early success of Jones and Pierre-Paul will help Ansah. There are a lot of teams that need an edge rusher like Ansah, and his superb skill set could cause another team that doesn't really need him to select him. Also, a team in the 20s could feel compelled to trade up for him.
Player Comparison: Jason Pierre-Paul.
Both Pierre-Paul and Ansah are very similar. Pierre-Paul (6-5, 278) is nearly identical size to Ansah. Both are explosive athletes. Like Pierre-Paul, Ansah is extremely raw. Pierre-Paul was in junior college for two years before playing one season at South Florida. After a quiet rookie campaign, Pierre-Paul exploded in 2011. If Ansah lands with good coaching like Pierre-Paul did, he could become a special player.
Oakland, Detroit, Cleveland, New York Jets, New Orleans, New York Giants
There a lot of potential landing spots for Ansah in the first round. He could go in the top five if he moves ahead of Florida State's Bjoern Werner and/or Texas A&M's Damontre Moore. The Raiders and Lions both need defensive end help.
The Browns need to upgrade their pass rush. They're switching to a hybrid 3-4 and 4-3 defense. Ansah would fit well as a player who could play end or outside linebacker. If Cleveland passes on Ansah, he could land with the Jets. They have to find an edge rusher for their defense.
In the teens, the Saints and Giants make sense. New Orleans has switched to a 3-4 and the team badly need an outside linebacker to pressure the quarterback. The Giants are having some turnover on the defensive line, and Ansah would be a good partner with Pierre-Paul.
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