It was only natural that Ezekiel Ansah would explode in the 2013 Senior Bowl because his NFL draft stock has been rising for a while now.
The BYU star racked up seven tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass deflection in being named the South's Most Outstanding Player on Saturday in Mobile, Ala.
While there are some who believe Ansah is a raw prospect, he has the kind of explosiveness and speed that has many comparing him to New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, according to Matt Rybaltowski of CBS Sports.
It makes sense, given the 6'6", 270-pounder has modeled his game after JPP and compares himself to Clay Matthews as a blitzer.
There are also those who feel the perception that Ansah is raw is a bit overblown.
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said, via the CBS Sports report:
Everybody keeps saying that he's raw but I keep seeing things like instincts and knocking down passes that doesn't look raw to me. It looks like he has a really good feel for the game.
Is Ezekiel Ansah worth a top-15 pick?
The biggest complaint about Ansah appears to be the fact that he doesn't display sound technique with his hands when trying to beat blocks. That needs to be coached up.
He also needs to add bulk. Until he does, it's going to be hard for him to push inside the tackles to stop the ball-carrier.
But Ansah has the frame to fill out, and his explosiveness and burst cannot be taught. The comparisons to Pierre-Paul are valid, especially considering JPP was selected No. 15 overall in the draft, and Ansah figures to be selected in the middle of the first round this year.
In the beginning of his NFL career, Ansah has the ability to be a strong edge rusher who can also be dangerous on blitzes. If he can fill out his frame adequately, there's no reason to believe he can't be dynamic against the pass and the run with some coaching.
Plenty of prospects have been called "raw" throughout the years only to take the NFL by storm eventually. Ansah's physical tools, combined with his nose for the ball, could make him a star at the next level.
What are your thoughts?