The 2013 NFL Draft Spotlight series continues, as we preview one pro prospect per day, right up until the start of the draft, April 25-27. However, none of the reports in this series are indicative of who the Kansas City Chiefs plan to draft, with any of their currently-owned eight picks.
Day 28 of 32
Ezekiel Ansah's continued journey to the NFL is an amazing one. A native of Accra, Ghana, Ansah tried out for the BYU basketball team in 2008 and 2009 and after not making the team in either year, he opted for track and left the sport at the end of the 2009 season. Despite warnings from BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff, Ansah joined the football team in 2010.
Ansah (pronounced Ahn-saw), who says he has always considered his body “a delicate flower," added size to his thin frame during winter workouts and earned the trust of coaches, practicing with the special teams unit through the 2011 season.
Ansah's workouts paid off, bulking up to nearly 270 pounds, earning a prominent role out of preseason camp and later lining up at defensive end in a three-man front, outside linebacker in a four-man front, as well as some snaps at three technique or nose tackle on third downs.
In his one season as a full time starter, Ansah talied 62 total tackles, 13 for a loss, including 4.5 sacks. He added nine pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one INT while lining up as a rush outside linebacker, defense end and defensive tackle.
Ansah later went on to impress at the 2013 Senior Bowl, before working out for NFL scouts, general managers and coaches at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
Combine stats: Top Performer *40-yard dash: (4.63 sec)
225-lb Bench Press: (21 reps)
Vertical Jump: (34.5 inches)
Broad Jump: (118.0 inches)
20-yard shuttle: (4.26 sec) *
What else should you know about Ezekiel?
* Phil Steele and FBS All-Independent First Team
* Earned letterman honors (2010-2012)
"Now a likely top-five pick," ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said of Ansah.
"Ansah's eventual position has been a question (should be a 4-3 DE); his raw athleticism is not. He is a track star in a 271-pound frame, a guy who blazed the 40 and shows solid punch at the point of attack. However, a lot of value is in that burst, the ability to jolt a defender with that initial blow, because his hand use, pass-rushing moves and leverage all need work. The question is whether he can add a repertoire."
"Ansah has only played the game for three years and has just one season under his belt as a starter. While he played with tremendous effort (in) his breakout 2012 campaign, some scouts question if he will play with the same intensity once he signs his contract. Considering his upside and versatility, it might take a team inside the top 10 to find out," according to NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang.
Name: Ezekiel Ansah
Hometown: Provo, UT
Draft Spotlight - Day 27: Desmond Trufant