2013 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions Don't View Ezekiel Ansah as a 'Project'

By Andrew Fisher
Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

The Detroit Lions went with plan-B on the first night of the 2013 NFL Draft. With the top three offensive tackles off the board, the Lions wisely decided to fill another need, defensive end. With Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch no long on the roster, Ezekiel Ansah became the next man up in Detroit. The problem? He’s only been playing football for three years.

Often times with guys like Ansah, you’ll hear words and phrases like ‘project’ or ‘boom or bust’ prospect. The Lions however, and specifically head coach Jim Schwartz, don’t view their new defensive end as such.

“I think if you just looked at it from a book standpoint, I think you would have to say ‘that he’s a project.’ But I think when you watch the film and when you put your hands on him for a week (you see something different). We drafted him to be on the field for us. We didn’t draft him as a project. Again, we saw everything that we needed.”

Well I certainly hope they saw everything they needed, you know, it is the No. 5 pick in the draft we’re talking about! No big deal…

If the Lions did view Ansah as a project, they would have been foolish to take him so early in the draft. The top-five is not a place to take a chance on a player, it’s where you build football teams.

Schwartz is confident that after what he saw from the talented DE in the Senior Bowl, that he’s no doubt the real deal. Playing at BYU and in the Senior Bowl is all fine and dandy, but I’ll wait to make my judgement until I see him out there on Sunday. My guess, is that he’s a little more of a project than the Lions might be willing to admit.


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