Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah, defensive end out of Brigham Young University, is in one word–a freak. The 6’5, 271-pound Ansah is a monster athlete, who hasn’t been playing football for very long. His speed, strength, and athleticism can take him far in the league, and his scouting report proves it.
Ansah, originally from Ghana, admitted into BYU as a member of the track team, in hopes of one day fulfilling his aspirations of playing in the NBA. Joining on the football team two years ago, Ansah came into the 2012 season completely off the radar of NFL scouts. Maybe it was due to the fact that Ansah had zero career starts, and 10 total tackles.
In his final season with BYU, Ansah had 62 tackles, 13 of them for a loss, along with 4.5 sacks in his nine starts as a Cougar. He probably would have racked up more stats had it not been for his counterpart junior outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who had 13.5 sacks, but also due to the fact that hes so versatile. Ansah played all over on the defensive side for the Cougars in 2012, and with a creative defensive mind such as Jets coach Rex Ryan, it’d be interesting to see the plans that would be in store for such as multi-talented defensive end such as Ansah.
Ansah, as alluded to, has the rare combination of size, speed, and strength. He has an incredible wing span, with the ability to add some muscle, without loss of quickness. Ansah uses his hands extremely well during pass defense, and is an absolute terror against the run, with his ability to latch off of his blocker, and latch onto the running back with his long, outstretched arms.
One of the main weaknesses listed on Ansah’s scouting report is that he has only been playing football since 2010, so he lacks experience, but has shown that he learns and adapts quickly. With comparisons to defensive star Jason Pierre-Paul due to Pierre-Paul’s inexperience entering the draft as well, and their impressive skill set, if Ansah is anything like JPP, the team that lands him will be very lucky.
Ansah would likely play a defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme, and a outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. If Ansah is still available at pick number nine, and if the Jets are thinking on the defensive side, there’s no question that Ryan would love the ability to have Ansah on the team. Ansah would be competing with the likes of Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson. There’s some risk in drafting Ansah, but with that risk comes a skyrocketing upside.