Ezekiel Ansah: Video Highlights for Former BYU Defensive End
Ezekiel Ansah is by far the most intriguing prospect in the 2013 NFL draft.
The Ghana native has only been playing football for three years after originally signing to BYU as a member of the track team. He only recorded 10 total tackles in his first two seasons on the football team.
"Ziggy" exploded onto the scene and scouts' radars during his senior campaign where he used his rare combination of size and athleticism to wreck havoc on opposing offenses. He played all over the field during his collegiate career, and his versatility could make him valuable to NFL defensive coordinators.
Ansah has been rocketing up draft boards due to his seemingly unlimited untapped potential. He could go as high as the No. 2 pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Mel Kiper's latest mock draft.
Drafting Ansah doesn't come without risk, however, as he is the definition of a one-year wonder. It's going to take some time to develop his skills, but he has all the tools necessary to be a dominant force in the NFL.
Here are the top seven plays from Ansah's stellar 2012 season.
Hard Hit vs. Idaho
Ansah is lined up at left defensive end on this play.
He quickly gets off the snap and uses his strength to force the opposing tackle to the center of the formation. Ansah then reads the run and is able to slip by the blocker to get to the running back in the backfield.
The most impressive part of the play is the hit he lays on the ball-carrier. Ansah is able to generate a lot of power in such a short space to deliver a crushing hit that causes the running back's helmet to pop off.
Ansah's ability to control the linemen and then tackle the running back for a loss shows he has good football awareness, especially for someone as inexperienced as he is.
Sack vs. Boise State
Ansah is lined up at right defensive end on this play.
He is met by two Boise State offensive linemen and is double-teamed off the snap. He is able to overpower them and force his way through them to get to the quarterback and sack him.
This play could be considered a coverage sack as it took a while for the quarterback to go down, but it also shows off Ansah's nonstop motor. He doesn't give up on the play despite being blocked by two linemen, and his tenacity pays off as he records a sack.
Ansah's relentlessness will endear him to NFL defensive coordinators.
Sack vs. Georgia Tech
Ansah doesn't only have the power to drive back offensive linemen; he also has the speed to blow by them. He shows off that quickness on this play against Georgia Tech.
He is lined up at left defensive end. He gets a good jump off the snap and uses his speed to explode by the opposing blocker. The offensive lineman barely gets a finger on Ansah before he is already closing in on the quarterback.
Once he's around the edge, Ansah quickly covers the ground between himself and the quarterback. He gets to the quarterback and sacks him in about four seconds, which doesn't give the quarterback enough time to react to the pressure.
Ansah's natural athleticism shines on this play, and it's one of the reasons he's so highly regarded in this draft class.
Fake Punt Stuff vs. Boise State
Ansah shows off his ability to read and react on this play.
He is lined up in the middle of the line in punt formation. He explodes snap and uses his power to shove the opposing lineman to the ground.
Ansah then recognizes the fake and turns his attention the ball-carrier. He is able to wrap the runner up and drag him down for no gain and well short of the first down.
His ability to react to a fake punt shows instincts far beyond his limited experience and exemplifies his loads of potential.
Interception vs. San Diego State
Even when he is unable to get to the quarterback, Ansah's motor puts him in position to make plays for his team.
On this play, Ansah is unable to get pressure on the quarterback, but he doesn't give up on the play. He watches as the quarterback attempts the pass, and reacts to it.
He was able to change direction on a dime to put himself in position to make a big play.
Ansah took advantage of being in the right place at the right time and came away with an interception off a tipped pass.
He doesn't quit on a play even though he doesn't get pressure, and he forces a turnover as a result.
Sack vs. Utah State
This play is yet another example of Ansah's athleticism and relentlessness.
He explodes off the snap and uses his strength to easily power his way through two blockers. Although he gets a hand on the quarterback, he is unable to bring him down.
Ansah doesn't quit on the play, though, and changes his direction to continue to pressure the quarterback. He is able to locate the quarterback and close in on him for the sack.
He uses his strength and speed to terrorize opposing offenses, and this is just another example of him doing so.
Reads the Screen vs. Utah State
Although it's not as flashy as the other plays on this list, this is the best play Ansah made all year.
As usual, he explodes into the backfield and has his eyes set on sacking the quarterback. He's able to stop on a dime and change directions when he realizes Utah State is setting up a screen.
Once Ansah reads the screen, his natural speed and athleticism allow him to chase down the running back and tackle him for a big loss.
His instincts and reaction to the screen are far beyond his experience level. These plays are just the tip of the iceberg of the potential Ansah possesses. With a little grooming, Ansah will be a dangerous player in the NFL.