— Freep Sports (@freepsports) April 26, 2013
After offensive linemen Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel went 1-2 and the Eagles took Lane Johnson at No. 4, the Lions were a lock to either go with a defensive lineman and address arguably their biggest need or trade down.
Not able to trade down, or not wanting to, the Lions opted to go with BYU's Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah with the fifth overall pick. If you're asking, who? you probably don't mind me pointing you to Wikipedia:
Ansah was not found on any of the 2012 preseason mock drafts for the 2013 NFL draft. By mid-season, he had moved up from unlisted to the late-first round or early second round with many analysts calling him the sleeper pick of the draft. Ansah further improved his draft stock with his "outstanding defensive player" outing in the 2013 Senior bowl, where he recorded seven tackles (six solo), 1.5 sacks (for 13 yards), 3.5 tackles for loss (for 24 yards), a pass breakup, and a forced fumble. In the NFL scouting combine Ansah recorded a 4.63 40 meter time, 21 reps on the bench press, a 34.5 inch vertical jump, a 118 inch broad jump, 7.11 seconds in the three cone drill, and 4.26 seconds in the 20 yard shuffle.
The biggest knocks on Ansah – and they're big ones – are that he's 24 years old and didn't start until his senior year of college (read: he's very inexperienced). In fact, as recent as four years ago, he was getting cut from BYU's basketball team.
But Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz insist that Ansah will make an immediate impact and they didn't draft him to be a project. They don't have that luxury anyway.
I was torn on how I felt about the pick at first, but I'm drinking up all the koolaid that's being provided in the ESPN feature below:
There's also a lot of fun off-the-field reasons to love him: His name (Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah) is amazing; he wore 3D glasses to the draft; immediately after being picked, he confidently said "I think we'll be back here next year for the Super Bowl"; and he's one hellll of a model American, er, I mean Ghanaian.
Ziggy will wear No. 94 and you can already purchase his jersey:
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 26, 2013