At 5, Lions take Ziggy Ansah


Five years ago, Ziggy Ansah had never seen an American football game. Now he’s a Detroit Lion.

The Lions took Ansah, a native of Ghana who played defensive end at Brigham Young University, with the fifth overall pick.

Ansah is a phenomenal athlete, with a freakish blend of size and speed. The question is whether Ansah is ready to play at the NFL level. At BYU his production didn’t generally match his talent, and after starting just nine games in college, he may not be ready to start in the NFL as a rookie.

For Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz, they need Ansah to be ready in a hurry, or else someone else will be calling the shots for the Lions at the 2014 NFL draft.

37 responses to “At 5, Lions take Ziggy Ansah

  1. This is awesome. The guy played 9 games more than I did in college!!!

    How long until the 2014 draft? The Lions should just mercy-trade Megatron.

    The only way my night is redeemed is if the Bears take Te’o…

  2. The Lions needed a immediate pick, not a project. Mayhew’s first nail in the coffin. Should have gone with Milliner…the draft was falling perfectly for the Lions to grab him.

  3. Looks like we will have a new coach and GM this time next year. Seriously how do they figure a guy who couldn’t even crack the starting lineup at BYU beginning of the year deserves to go 5 overall? Because he did well at the underwear olympics?? I’m a lions fan and I’m used to bad decisions, but this one blows my mind.

  4. The Lions struggle finding players that can stay out of jail long enough to play a football game. What are the odds this kid is arrested before training camp?

  5. He looks like what Julio Jones will look like when he’s 63.

    T’s were all gone, we’ve never had a dominant DE, no avril was not. Him with Jones from SEA gives us two monster 6’7″ ends to grow with Fairley and Suh with Washburns help. I’d like to grab Hunt in the 2nd then focus on the OL and WR’s.

    Onto the next round…..

  6. I like the pick, but so much for “not swinging for the fences” with the #5 pick…..I’m calling Bjorn Woerner or tank carradine at #4 in round 2. That’s a solid D line!!!!!

  7. I honestly think this is like swinging for extra bases instead of trying to hit a single. It would have been safe to take Millner, Cooper, or Warmack for example, but I’m in the minority here in thinking this was a good pick. The Lions spent money for safety, retained a decent (despite common perception) cornerback, and experts far more knowledgeable than me have commented that the O/D-line needs more help than the defensive secondary. I’m not saying he will be Jason Pierre-Paul (although expect to hear that comparison all year), but with 2 studs at defensive tackle, and his A+ motor/skills, by the end of the season he could be worthy of his draft pick status.

    The question is similar to when Joe Dumars quietly headed out of town to have a secret workout with Andre Drummond. Freakish talent, high risk pick for a GM who probably knew he could be fired after another bad season. Dumars went for the extra base hit, and deserves praise for taking the risk. Martin Mayhew certainly can be wrong on this pick, but like Dumars, looks like he’s going to go down swinging, if he’s going to be fired. This pick could be the pick that saves his job, assuming he doesn’t screw up day 2 of the draft. Look at the mock drafts around the mainline sites. Ansah was typically picked for the Lions. Go figure.

  8. This is a good pick. The guy is a project,but it fills a need and the guy has tremendous upside. Who else was detroit going to pick at 5. It was him or milliner and the draft is deeper at CB than DE. We can snag a DB in rd 2 or 3.

  9. I will say this with Tavon Austin on the board at 5. They take a chance on guy that has a 50/50 chance of making it as a DE. I don’t like the pick especially with a playmaker on offense that could’ve helped out a team which lacks a speedster at the wr position. Yeah Calvin is fast but not faster than this kid. Something tells me the Rams and Dolphins are the early favorites to get good grades with there picks . Time will tell how this draft plays out. But something tells me this kid the Lions got won’t be in the league in 5 years.

  10. By the way, the Lions are deserving of criticism, but the following lines are getting really stale and/or turning into half-truths:
    “The Lions secondary will be horrible this year.”
    (They sign some of their own players, get a good safety out of free agency, and you would think the injury bug in the secondary can’t be as horrible as it was in 2012, plus at least one the 3 corners they drafted in 2012 will at least show some improvement).
    “The Lions will have half the team arrested.” (2013 has had one incident that I know of. Don’t overly rely on 2012, which was a bad year for Lions and the law).
    “Detroit is worse than (name a third world country).” (As an example, The Red Wings and Tigers have signed their share of free agents, so Detroit can’t be all bad, and players do decide to stay in the area after retirement. Still the nicest big city people I’ve met in my life, and I’ve been in the majority of the top 20 cities in the U.S.)
    “Detroit is a dirty team.” (Look up the penalty #’s from 2012, not 2011).
    Feel free to disagree, but I wonder if a lot of you are stuck in the narrative/stereotypes because it’s easy.

  11. It looks like people are cutting their Jason Pierre-Paul comments and posting it here, hoping to be right about a draft pick…for once.

  12. The people questioning this guy’s character are just too lazy to think. I wish every player in the NFL had this guy’s values and character.

    The official line from Mayhew and Schwartz is that what really impressed them at the Senior Bowl was his character, along with his desire to learn and ability to improve rapidly. He went from zero experience with wide 9 to dominating the game within one week.

    He has the kind of speed to be an immediate threat as an outside rusher, and to chase down running backs. His sack total should be impressive for a rookie – that’s ultimately what everyone will use to grade him.

    I’m excited and optimistic … but everyone is headed for the playoffs in April!

  13. Was the Lions pick Ansah money? My guess is if our interior D line stays healthy then Bruce Smith could come back and be effective. So Z should at least be able to match what Avril did, if not do more.

  14. To all the GB/MINN/CHI fans that are here running your mouths about Det. drafts, better get ready to see how tough “A-Rod”/Ponder or whoever you guys think is gonna play QB/Cutler are next season. Can’t wait to hear about how he too, tackles too rough.

  15. This guy is a great pick. He’s super smart and incredibly athletic. He loves football and has a much deeper understanding of it than people give him credit for. He’s a hard worker and isn’t self entitled.

    He was easily the best option at 5. Everybody wants to hate on the Lions, but that’s fine. Detroit’s a great town and the Lions are a blast to watch.

  16. People laughed when Carroll drafted Irvin last year, and the dude tore it up. I like this pick because I’d rather have someone like Ansah who is a freak with the arrow still pointing up, over someone who already knows they are badass at the position and may not play as hard. This guy looks dedicated and determined all the way, without any of that primadonna bs.

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