NEW YORK — Rated by the NFLDraftScout.com team as the No. 1 defensive end prospect in the land, Ezekiel Ã¢â‚¬Å“ZiggyÃ¢â‚¬Â Ansah didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called as theÃ‚Â LionsÃ‚Â picked Ansah with the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of theÃ‚Â NFL DraftÃ‚Â on Thursday.
The former BYU standout originally wasn’t supposed to be in this spot. When he landed in Provo, Utah, from Ghana, Ansah planned to run track and prepare himself to try to land a spot in the NBA. Instead, he surprised draft analysts and scouts in 2012 by recording 62 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Considering Ansah had never started a game before the 2012 season (and had only 10 total tackles), his performance was a shock.
Ansah only has been playing football for three seasons and, yes, he’s probably a little raw. But scouts liked his athleticism and power. Some compared him favorably to Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (though Ansah could be a better run defender).
Even better: he’s versatile. At BYU, he played at stand-up outside linebacker, defensive end and nose tackle while lining up all over the field. It’ll be interesting, then, to see Detroit’s plans for him in 2013.