- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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But the other guy who intrigued me was BYU defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, the man many have pegged as the next Jason Pierre-Paul. At the combine, Ziggy spoke about trying to follow in JPP's footsteps as a raw, inexperienced football player still learning and soaking in the game.
After posting some impressive numbers at the combine (4.63 40-yard dash, 34.5 vertical jump, 21 reps bench press, 118 inch broad jump, 4.26 second 20-yard shuttle and 7.11 second three-cone drill), Ansah might not be there at 19 when the Giants pick in the first round.
Still, let's take a look at what some are saying about Ansah:
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay: "BYU's Ezekiel Ansah (Grade: 91) is the story of the combine. Here's a guy who five years ago hadn't even watched a game and didn't know how to put on pads the first time he tried to play... He's a big-time player: disruptive, powerful, fast, with great size and closing burst, and a long wingspan. He doesn't have great instincts, but better than you'd expect for a guy with his history... Sometimes you build up these physical freaks and you get to the combine and come away disappointed, but he was better than I expected. The Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul wasn't that polished, either, but the two players aren't that far apart... I can't believe I'm saying it, but I legitimately think he belongs in the top 12 picks of this draft. I would be shocked if he made it to the 20s."
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr.: "The guy is a major athletic talent. Regardless of his lack of experience, scouts see a lot of promise... Ansah might lack polish as a pass-rusher, but he has a lot of power both with raw strength and because he has such a burst, can rush with leverage and also utilize his quickness in one-on-one matchups."
CBSSports.com's Rob Rang: "Ansah is not the same terror-off-the-edge pass-rusher that Pierre-Paul was coming out of South Florida, but he's similarly gifted and plays with greater commitment to the run. Like there was with Pierre-Paul, there is some risk factor with Ansah, but his upside is through the roof."
NFL.com, which compares Ansah more to Justin Tuck, on his weaknesses: "Has admitted to a lack of stamina. Fatigue is noticeable after a few plays of rushing the passer. In those circumstances, does not chase the play down from the backside, instead staying at the line of scrimmage to knock down the pass. Technique is not always there, specifically on the edge against the run. Frequently gives up the wrong arm or shoulder to blockers, takes himself out of the play. Hand fights at the line against the run rather than driving or penetrating to disrupt. A hit or miss player on the field but consistency is growing."
Tell us what you think of Ansah and if he's there at 19, what the Giants should do.
3dBy Dan Graziano