Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Lions' picks: Round 1/5 - Ziggy Ansah, DE, 6-5, 271, BYU...The Lions may have preferred one of the elite offensive tackles, but this is hardly a consolation prize. The need at defensive end is acute and this guy is an athletic marvel - body by LeBron James, with 4.6 speed, a 35-inch arm span, 34-inch vertical, and 10-inch hands. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know if I want to use the word hate because you can't concentrate if you hate somebody. You've got to love them. If you love somebody, you want to grab them. So, I love quarterbacks." -- DE Ziggy Ansah on whether he hates quarterbacks. - The Sports Xchange
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05/09/13 - DE Ziggy Ansah, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, agreed to a four-year contract worth an estimated $19 million with the Detroit Lions.
The Lions were able to sign their nine rookie draft picks to contracts before the start of a minicamp for first-year players began Friday.
Ansah, a native of Ghana and football neophyte who opened the eyes of Lions coaches and scouts at the Senior Bowl, has played football for only three seasons. But coach Jim Schwartz, Ansah's coach at the Senior Bowl, said his progress indicates he's well beyond beginner levels.
He's a rare athlete for his 6-5, 274-pound frame, running the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds. He came to BYU for other reasons but gravitated to football having known little about it -- and never so much as watched a football game -- before coming to the United States. When he failed to make the basektball team in 2008 and '09 at BYU, Ansah joined the track team briefly before joining the football squad.
He played a total of 18 career games and was a starter only in 2012, posting 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
As raw as he is, Ansah figures to be asked to play a significant role for Detroit.
04/28/13 - A closer look at the Lions' picks: Round 1/5 - Ziggy Ansah, DE, 6-5, 271, BYU...The Lions may have preferred one of the elite offensive tackles, but this is hardly a consolation prize. The need at defensive end is acute and this guy is an athletic marvel - body by LeBron James, with 4.6 speed, a 35-inch arm span, 34-inch vertical, and 10-inch hands. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know if I want to use the word hate because you can't concentrate if you hate somebody. You've got to love them. If you love somebody, you want to grab them. So, I love quarterbacks." -- DE Ziggy Ansah on whether he hates quarterbacks. - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Lions bet on potential of neophyte Ansah...The Lions might have preferred one of the can't-miss left tackles to still be on the board when they picked at No. 5 Thursday? They might have preferred to trade down a few notches and maybe pick up another pick or two. But when it was all said and done, they feel like they added an immediate impact defensive end in a 24-year-old from Ghana who didn't even know how to put on football pads in 2010.
The Lions took BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah at No. 5, after offensive tackles Eric Fisher (CMU), Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) and Lane Johnson (Oklahoma) went first, second and fourth, respectively. "You can't worry about what happened in front of you," coach Jim Schwartz said. "All we worried about was getting a good player, one that we had our hands on and had a feel for who fills a great need for us.
"There were other players who would have fit in, but none of that tempers the excitement we have for Ziggy." General manager Martin Mayhew said he made calls inquiring about the possibility of moving up and moving back Thursday, but in no way did he consider Ansah a consolation pick. "I see him being an impactful player right away," he said. "He's is a guy who will play a big role for us on defense. He will be on the field. ... He was the best player available and he fills a need. This is a time where the grade matched up with the need." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Ansah, a Mormon who attended BYU on an academic scholarship and was cut twice by the basketball team and ran track before joining the football team in 2010, is a physical marvel. He's 6-5, 271 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds and has a 35-inch arm span and 10 1/2-inch hands. "You are looking at a guy with great size, great length, who runs good, who's tough, who plays all across the line," Schwartz said. "At some point or another we saw him do everything we need him to do in our defense."
Ansah has answered questions about his lack of experience since before the combine, so he was prepared Thursday. "If you would have told me a few years ago (he'd be the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL draft) I'd be like, 'I don't know what you're thinking, man,'" he said in a teleconference. "But this is the reality. I know how hard I had to work to get here and I know I truly earned it. "I have been playing for a few years now and I know this coaching staff. I know my work ethic and I know they will be able to work with me and they will bring out the potential they see in me. I am ready to put in the work." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Schwartz and his staff had the advantage of coaching Ansah for a week leading up to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. It was during that week that a lot of their concerns about his lack of experience abated. "He had never played (the wide-9 formation) before and it was an adjustment period for him," Schwartz said. "He didn't know very much at all in the beginning. But every practice you seen him get better and then the game came and he dominated the game. "And it wasn't just his playing ability. You saw what a serious guy he was, saw how important it was for him to do well, how he wanted to please his coaches and that was an important part of the evaluation. It was a week well spent in Mobile." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Schwartz made it clear they did not draft Ansah as a project. "If you looked at it from a book standpoint, you'd have to say (he was a project)," Schwartz said. "When you watch the film and you put your hands on him for a week (coach him), we drafted him to be on the field for us. We didn't draft him as a project. "He's inexperienced but very instinctive and he has the skill set we're looking for. We would not take a project with that pick, but we feel he has even more upside than he's shown."
The Lions certainly have holes to fill on the defensive line. The two starting defensive ends are gone -- Cliff Avril signed with Seattle and Kyle Vanden Bosch released. Key reserve Lawrence Jackson remains an unsigned free agent. They signed defensive end Jason Jones to start on one side. Ansah, as it stands now, will compete with Willie Young to start on the other side. "If we didn't have the opportunity to coach him at the Senior Bowl, (the lack of game experience) would be a bigger issue," Mayhew said. "But we had the opportunity to work with him and teach him. We saw how quickly he picks things up and we saw the impact he had on that game. We were very confident in drafting him." - The Sports Xchange
04/25/13 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 14. DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU (6-5, 271, 4SR)...A physical marvel, Ansah has only one year of starting experience, didn't step onto the football field until 2010 but should only develop with more experience. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/25/13 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 6. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU: Having played football for only three years -- and starting only one season -- the native of Ghana is as raw as it gets. Ansah is also as physically blessed as any prospect in the 2013 draft, demonstrating remarkable straight-line speed (4.63 in the 40-yard dash) and fluidity (4.26 seconds in the short shuttle), considering his 6-5, 271-pound frame. Proving athletic enough to handle converting to outside linebacker or staying at defensive end, Ansah could earn top five consideration if teams are convinced he's committed to the game. Some questioned his age until they were provided with his passport revealing that he is 23 years old. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
03/29/13 - 2013 BYU Pro Day: Ziggy Ansah highlights BYU’s pro day workouts...Eleven players worked out indoors on FieldTurf at BYU’s pro day on March 28. Scouts and personnel from 18 NFL teams were present, including the offensive coordinators from Oakland and Philadelphia. Ziggy Ansah, DE (6-5 7/8, 272) - He did position drills and he looked very good. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
03/04/13 - While this speaks to Ansah's unbelievable athleticism, it also raises an important question. If Ansah isn't willing to dedicate himself fully to the biggest test of his life, how important is football to him? Ansah has only played the game for three years and has just one season under his belt as a starter. While he played with tremendous effort his breakout 2012 campaign, some scouts question if he will play with the same intensity once he signs his contract. Considering his upside and versatility, it might take a team inside the top 10 to find out. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com