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New York Giants 2013 Draft Profile: Ezekiel Ansah

January 20th, 2013 at 7:00 AM
By Paul Tierney

Over the last six seasons, the New York Giants have laid a blueprint to building a championship caliber roster: a strong armed quarterback, a bevy of weapons on offense coupled with an elite ability to rush the passer. The Giants have single-handedly spiked the market value of pass rushers by highlighting the immense role they must play on defense. With the imminent departure of Osi Umenyiora this offseason, don't be surprised to see Big Blue retool their pass rush with their first-round pick. Ezekiel Ansah out of BYU would be an incredible steal for General Manager Jerry Reese & Co. in the 2013 NFL Draft.

If the Giants want to ensure that the pass rush remains among the most feared units in the league for 2013 and beyond, the front office must add young talent this offseason. Justin Tuck has not been consistently productive in two seasons, Chris Canty is was a disappointment in 2012, Linval Jospeh showed this year that he may not be the dominant presence in the middle he was projected to be, while the Marvin Austin experiment has all but failed.

Save for Jason Pierre-Paul, there are question marks regarding every player on the defensive line right now.

That's not to say that this unit can't return in 2013 with a vengeance. There is enough talent on the defensive line that Perry Fewell should be able to muster up a more effective pass rush than we saw this season. However, with Justin Tuck's age and injury concerns, it would be prudent to look to the future at the defensive end position. Best case scenario, Tuck has two or three productive years left in him. If the team does not act now to breed a successor for Tuck, the defensive end cupboard will be barren when it comes time to replace him.

For the Giants, it would be an ideal scenario for Ansah to spend a season or two behind Justin Tuck learning the intricacies of an NFL defense. Make no mistake about it: Ansah is not going to come into the NFL and become an immediate impact player. The size, speed and overall athleticism are there, but it takes much more than that to become a productive player in the NFL.

Ansah still has questions to answer regarding his run defense, and it's likely that his first season or two in the league are going to be as a pass rushing specialist. As a pass rusher, he was double teamed consistently in college. However, Ansah has not learned how to use his frame to his advantage. His pad height is inconsistent and he often gets driven off the line on interior runs. He has the ability to develop into a dominant defender against the run, he just hasn't shown it yet.

Similar to Jason Pierre-Paul when he was coming out of South Florida, Ansah's ceiling is off the charts. He is 6'6 and 270 pounds. He can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He can play on the outside, or he can line up at nose tackle in nickel packages. Although Ansah has only been playing football for three years, his non-stop motor makes up for his lack of experience. 

Currently, Ansah is slated as a mid first-round pick. The Giants pick at No. 19 and it's a realistic possibility that Ansah is still around to be selected at that point. However, given his raw athletic ability, Ansah is definitely a guy who's stock could rise considerably once the NFL combine comes around. Team's have seen the success that Pierre-Paul has had in the NFL, and it's likely that Pierre-Paul success improves Ansah's draft stock.

If the Giants want to remain the same kind of team that has won two Super Bowls since 2007, then the pass rush must get retooled this offseason. When the pass rush has been at its best, there have always been three dominant defensive ends capable of getting to the passer. Right now, Pierre-Paul is the only player on the depth chart who can be considered a dominant player.

If Ezekiel Ansah is available at No. 19, the Giants could once again develop one of the fiercest pass rushing duos the league has ever seen.

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Tags: Chris Canty, Ezekiel Ansah, Florida, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Reese, Justin Tuck, Marvin Austin, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell

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13 Responses to “New York Giants 2013 Draft Profile: Ezekiel Ansah”

  1.  Krow says:

    Right now he’s my fav as our #1 pick … But it’s very early in the process.

  2.  Dirt says:

    I was watching the NFLPA game last night and McShay said 8 of his top 15 players this year are defensive linemen. I don’t watch fradulent college football, so I can’t comment, but that was interesting.

  3.  Dirt says:

    Speaking of pass rush, I’d like to let the record show that a) the likely-to-be-departing Umenyiora had one less sack than JPP in spot duty and b) our genius defensive coordinator was said to feature gameplans that intentionally did not want to have the quarterback sacked (while also knowingly sporting a sieve for a back 7 or 8).

  4.  G-MenFan says:

    I’m guessing impact DE or blue chip OL in 1st round. Ansah fits the bill along with several others.

  5.  turkish says:

    If he can’t drop back in coverage he will not fit Fewell’s bottom of the barrel scheme.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Was that tape supposed to convince us that he’s the best #1 pick? Color me unconvinced.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    Response to kujo on the movies:

    Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis is terrific in Lincoln, but I think he was FAR better in There Will Be Blood and Gangs of New York. Again, I loved Lincoln, but largely because it was well-acted and because I’m a political junkie and loved the coverage of the cold-and-dirty politics that Lincoln “stooped” to when the Constitution was in the balance.

    The reason I was sorely disappointed in Zero Dark Thirty was because I thought that while the last 20 minutes were great, the pacing of the movie was atrocious and they made what was a manhunt that was fraught with internal CIA conflict and political pressure, and then great physical risk, look like a TV procedural. Where I thought Bigelow’s movie The Hurt Locker was great, I think this one was very mediocre, and I do not believe that they were wrong in refusing to give her an Oscar nomination.

    Argo is a great, old-fashioned political/action thriller. Affleck should have received every award available and the only movie that I think comes close to being as good this past year was Amour.

    Go see Broken City and remember that my son: 1) Had too little creative input or it would have been better; and 2) Needs the money. It’s an old-fashioned “B” noirish thriller that is worth the price of admission.

    •  kujo says:

      Oddly enough my fiancĂ©e informed me this morning that we are going on a double date tonight and we’ll be seeing Broken City. Evidently the other couple are both huge fans of that mumble mouth Wahlberg, so they’re eager to see it. So there’s another $40+ or so in ticket sales for your son.

  8.  kujo says:

    The JPP analogy is beginning to wear on me. Every raw prospect is being described as “the JPP of ____” due to their size and “potential.” Um, I’m fairly certain that there have been more obscure and less touted prospects who have gone on to greater glory than JPP in the past. There’s also been guys who were over-drafted because some thought were “raw” and were eventually exposed as being simply not good (eg. Barden, Ramses). I get the idea of it, but we shouldn’t make taking these risks in the 1st round some sort of ongoing thing. It’s fine to gamble in the later rounds, but I think at least your 1st round pick should be as sure fire a selection as possible. Taking JPP in the 1st round of the 2010 draft was the exception rather than the rule for Reese; Ross, Kiwi, Phillips, Nicks, Prince, Wilson…these were all guys who were thought of as varying degrees of “NFL ready.” That’s typically what you look for in a 1st rounder.

  9.  GmenMania says:

    UUT

  10.  vin2485 says:

    ILL PASS ON HIM.. Kiwi is a better option better off getting one of the top 3 LB instead.. no reason to waste a pick on an average DE while he have Kiwi, Jpp, and Tuck. although i expect tuck to come back strong but he does deserve to be cut for underperforming for the past three year.. a improved secondary and LB core would greatly improve the pass rush over having a rookie DE who wont see the field untill week 8..

    we need an impact player not someone who is going to sit untill we are out of the playoffs like wilson and every other rookie we ever had.. Teo and olgetree will be starters from week1.. they are more important

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