What was behind the Detroit Lions decision to place the franchise tag on Ezekiel Ansah? What could it mean as far as trades, draft choices and free agents?
So why did the Detroit Lions choose to invest $17.143 million in a player that has not entirely lived up to his billing in the Motor City?
While Ansah did have a decent campaign last year, and helped to bring some consistency to the team’s pass rush, I believe the underlying reason for using the tag is that the 2018 NFL Draft is weak in the defensive end category. Decent up the middle talent, but very weak edge rushers.
Sure, there are one or two players who will be drafted early. But that’s where it ends. Unless a team is looking for depth on their defensive line, there is not much starter help to be found.
Last week, the Seattle Seahawks announced they are willing to trade defensive end Michael Bennett. While that’s great and all, the cost would simply be too much for Detroit.
I can only imagine Lions general manager Bob Quinn feels he has a comparable player to Bennett in Ansah. And perhaps feels better about giving Ziggy guaranteed money rather than give up a player and/or draft picks for Bennett.
Personally, I think in this case playing it safe with Ezekiel Ansah was the right choice to make. Not to mention new head coach Matt Patricia may want his shot at working with Ansah to see if he and the Lions’ new coaching staff can elevate his game.
This may also signal what Detroit is going to do draft day. Perhaps now they go running back or linebacker with an outside possibility of offensive linemen with the team’s first round draft pick.
A player to watch is Tremaine Edmunds, linebacker, Virginia Tech. Edmunds is 6’ 5”, 236 pounds. He possesses great quickness and outstanding agility. He can rush the passer or drop back in coverage. You gotta love the fact the NFL offseason is in full swing!