Anytime a negative attribute of Ezekiel Ansah is pointed out, the natural response is to fire back with how inexperienced he is. Well, to that, I say Ansah is not the first or the only prospect in this draft with little experience, nor is he the only guy who looks raw on the field.
Being rough around the edges is absolutely understandable if that's what the issue seems to be. But what do you do when every flaw in a prospect's game seems to be chalked up to the idea that he just doesn't know any better yet?
What do you blame when a player consistently shrinks in competitive moments? Is inexperience the cause for a glaring lack of functional strength, balance and general clumsiness as well? And if so, where do you draw the line?
Ansah is often compared to another player who didn't play much football until college, Jason Pierre-Paul. But those comparisons are highly inaccurate. JPP produced pretty impressive numbers every year he played college football, whether he was at junior college or USF. He also demonstrated excellent coordination and body control and seemed to have natural playmaking instincts and a strong competitive drive.
Considering Ansah has spent three years in a big-time college football program and barely saw the field until his junior season, he has me worried.
Margus Hunt is another prospect who is inexperienced at football, yet he seems to show much more promise than Ansah. His athleticism and strength really pop out on film, while Ansah's athletic gifts seem hidden in his confusion and uncertainty—which, by the way, are not characteristics that show up on JPP's college film at all.
The idea that Ansah is an elite prospect based on athletic ability alone is clearly a myth. His flaws are not something to toss out as trivial. They will likely follow him throughout his career for years. Only by working hard and possessing the necessary drive as a competitor will he shed the issues that have haunted his college resume.
This makes Ansah a risky gamble anywhere in the first round.