Ezekiel Ansah: 5 Things You Need to Know About the BYU DE

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIApril 25, 2013

Ezekiel Ansah: 5 Things You Need to Know About the BYU DE

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    Two words you're going to hear quite a bit regarding Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah are "raw" and "upside." The former BYU defensive end has only been playing organized football for three years. However, he has shown NFL teams that he has the athleticism and power to be an extremely effective defensive player in the league. It may take him some time, but with the proper training, Ansah can become a dominant force.

    Here are five things you need to know about Ansah, one of the draft's most intriguing prospects.

    Combine results courtesy of NFL.com. College stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.

Background

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    Full Name: Ezekiel Nana "Ziggy" Ansah

    Birthday: May 29, 1989

    Hometown: Accra, Ghana

    High School: Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School

    Major: Actuarial Science

    Year: Senior

     

    Ansah never played football in high school. In fact, he had no desire to play football, as he was only interested in basketball.

Statistics

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    When looking at Ezekiel Ansah's stats, you have to remember that his first year at BYU was the first year he ever played football. He was, and still is, learning the game.

    Basically, don't let the statistics below fool you into thinking that he isn't going to be a talented NFL player. With the proper training, he'll be a fantastic player.

    Year Solo Tackles Total Tackles Tackles for Loss Sacks Forced Fumbles
    2010 1 3 0 0 0
    2011 3 7 0 0 0
    2012 35 62 13.0 4.5 1

     

    All statistics courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.

Draft Process

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    Measurables

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 271 lbs

    Arm Length: 35.125"

    Hands: 10.25"

     

    Combine Results

    40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds

    Bench press: 21 reps

    Vertical jump: 34.5"

    Broad jump: 118"

    3-Cone drill: 7.11 seconds

    20-yard shuttle: 4.26 seconds (top performer)

     

    The reason that Ansah is such an exciting prospect is because of his upside. There is no better place for NFL teams to see that upside than at the NFL Scouting Combine.

    Ansah put his incredible skills to the test this year and put together a pretty dominant performance. 

     

    All combine results courtesy of NFL.com.

Interesting Facts

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    Growing up in Ghana, Ansah was a huge basketball fan. In fact, he really wanted to play basketball in college, which is one of the reasons he attended BYU.

    In 2008, Ansah tried out for the BYU basketball team. However, he was cut from the team during tryouts. Instead of giving up, he tried out for the basketball team for a second time the following year. Once again, he didn't make the team in 2009, just like the year before.

    I think it's safe to say that Ansah won't be cut from any NFL teams like he was twice from the BYU basketball team.

Observations

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    Everyone knows that Ezekiel Ansah is raw, but Yahoo! Sports' Doug Farrer sees that rawness as the potential for versatility:

    Underrated aspect of Ziggy Ansah's game -- positional versatility. Has good tape at LEO end (hand off the ground), DE, DT on passing downs.

    — SC_DougFarrar (@SC_DougFarrar) April 21, 2013

     

    Bleacher Report NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller does have some concern about Ansah's game:

    @reeyoungblood Other than Mingo, Ezekiel Ansah worries me among the top guys. So much projection involved in that grade.

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 12, 2013

     

    Finally, Rich Cimini of ESPN gives some great stats about just how unstoppable Ansah is, even against double teams:

    DE Ezekiel Ansah: 2.5 of his 4.5 sacks came when double teamed. Perspective: Only 1 of Jarvis Jones' 14.5 sacks came on double team. #Jets

    — Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) April 11, 2013