Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Defensive End Report Card

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Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah

Feb 25, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah does lineman dirlls during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


Ansah is having a solid start to his rookie year with four sacks, two forced fumbles, and several more big plays negated by penalties (some of them his own). He doesn’t bring pressure as consistently as the Lions would like, but he is playing well against the run, and developing rapidly.

Grade: C+


Ansah has been in on some big plays this season, but his biggest plays (like his sack-fumble on Andy Dalton that was returned for a touchdown) have been flagged back (Ansah was offside on the play by a split-second). Still, Ansah is winning battles with sheer athleticism, despite very raw technique. Once he figures out the finer points of the game, his will be a name much more frequently discussed.

Grade: C

Vs. Expectations

Depends on whose expectations we’re discussiing. Some expected Ansah to be a mega-bust. Others expected an instant superstar. For a No. 5 overall draft pick with only three years of organized football to his credit, either outcome would have been understandable.

The reality is, Ansah has fallen between the extremes (shocker, I know) to settle in as solid against the run, and sporadically effective rushing the quarterback. At this point, the expectations are just that he continues to improve.

Grade: B


Ansah has struggled to bring pressure over the last four games, but he’s the type of rookie for whom ups and downs are expected. He has athleticism, as expected;  and lacks polish, also as expected. He’s right where he should be right now, provided he keeps up his current pace.

Grade: A