Welcome to the cutting edge of “Who are the Lions going to pick in the first round”? In most years, there is at least one quarterback and a couple of defensive ends that are guaranteed top five selections. That isn’t the case this year. The experts can’t seem to agree on anything about the top five picks this year. There are no sure-fire, can’t-miss prospects that dominate this year’s crop of rookies.
Back in early February, I was one of the first prognosticators to have the Lions taking Tackle Eric Fisher of Central Michigan, hope I don’t hurt my arm patting myself on the back, but everyone else has caught on to him and now it looks like there is a chance he’ll be gone by the time the Lions pick at five. There is even talk that, even if Fisher is there, they may take someone else. How does the name Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah strike you?
While that name is a mouthful, the draftniks are well aware of him. This guy’s story is like a made for TV movie. He’s from Ghana and only picked up the sport three years ago. What? They’ve never made a movie like that because nobody would believe it. Ansah is a defensive end from BYU and has been rocketing up the draft charts. Ansah has generally been slotted to go somewhere in the teens of the first round. It looks like that may be changing.
The physical gifts are there, the question has always been when is he going to be ready to contribute? Keeping your ear to the ground, you can tell the general consensus was that it may take him a couple of years to make a huge impact – time the Lions don’t have to wait. What if the Lions think he’ll be ready sooner? A couple of heavyweights are thinking that maybe “Ziggy” isn’t such a reach at five after all. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com said, “This looks like a reach on the surface, but after studying this situation, it makes a lot of sense. The Lions have huge needs at pass rusher and cornerback. There will be plenty of quality cornerbacks available in the second round, but the edge-rush pool is shallow. Ansah dominated the Senior Bowl game while playing in the Lions’ defensive scheme.”
Kevin Siefert of ESPN.com wrote an article on March 2nd saying the Lions drafting Ansah isn’t such a stretch.
In the cloak and dagger world of public statements during draft season, they’re all pretty much lying. I wrote off Ansah when Martin Mayhew gushed about him after the Senior bowl, a sure sign that they’re not taking him. I wonder if Mayhew and Jim Schwartz are giggling to themselves in private about the amazing upside “The Ansah” possesses that they witnessed up close from coaching him all week at the Senior Bowl. Perhaps they have intended to take him all along? We’ll find out on April 25th.