DE Ezekiel Ansah Scouting Report

Photo: US Presswire

DE Ezekiel Ansah-BYU
Height: 6’5
Weight: 270 lbs.
Grade: 7.5 (Grading Scale)

Athleticism
+Explosive coming out of his stance, is able to rush with both power and speed
+Big prospect with long arms, very well filled out
+He’s able to transition from one rush move to another due to natural balance
+Uses great leg drive on his bull rush to walk to offensive lineman back into the pocket
+Phenomenal change of direction ability
+Rare blend of athleticism where he is just as good with his strength moves as he is with his speed moves
+Top-end speed to play LB if he was needed there, already drops into coverage and makes plays in coverage
+He has a great motor whether he’s chasing down the QB or chasing down a RB from the backside
+Delivers the blow when he hits you, he’s not a drag down tackler, when he hits you, you’re going down
+Natural bend around the edge to turn the corner and get to the QB
-Still learning how to play with his body type, at times still has an awkward moment where he’s not sure what to do with hands
-Lack of time in football has him struggle with some recognition plays where he will bite on fakes or take himself out of plays by design
-What position is he in the NFL? May need to add or lose weight moving forward

Intelligence/Effort
+Developing play reading ability, he showed a lot of growth in this area this year
+Does well to monitor the QB on his rush and if he breaks to run or winds up to throw Ansah reacts properly
+Never ending motor, he’s the kind of defender that is just as happy getting a QB sack as he is chasing down a WR 50 yards down the field who thought he was going to score easily
-Having only played football for three years his Awareness and Football IQ are lower than most prospects
-Struggles with some of the misdirection and zone read style of plays
-Will allow teams to take advantage of his up field pass rush by running draws to his side, until he counters it

Pass Rush
+Explosion out of his stance allows him to beat the OT to the spot whenever he wants
+When he uses his arms and hands properly he’s almost impossible to engage
+Generates a ton of power and strength through his lower body, is able to lift the OL almost completely out of his stance
+Can rush from the DE, DT, or OLB spots, could be a huge asset for a creative defensive coordinator
+His length presents a problem for most OT’s, even if you block him he still has the ability to get his long arms into the passing lanes
+Has begun understanding how to set up and utilize certain moves to counter what offenses are trying to do to him
+When he’s really feeling it, he’ll start using combination moves to get the OL moving one way just to beat him the opposite
+Seems to find that next gear when he has the QB in his sights
-When he is blocked effectively it’s often because he gets too high out of his stance
-His hand usage needs to get better when it comes to shedding blocks

Run Support
+With his speed he’s often able to shoot the gaps and make plays in the backfield
+Also uses his power to push the OL into the backfield and redirect running plays
+When he uses his long arms he is able hold up at the point of attack and then sheds the block to make the tackle
+Washes down the line effectively in pursuit of plays run the opposite direction, can get across the offensive lineman’s face with ease
+Quickness and change of direction ability help him v the smaller and more elusive backs
-Too inconsistent with his length and hands to be an elite run stopper, but he certainly has the potential
-Teams will run right at him on draws and misdirection because they know he will take himself out of plays

Technique
+No player in the draft, except maybe Damontre Moore, explodes like Ansah does out of his stance, picture perfect get-off
+Footwork is ideal, he’s always well balances and uses his feet to change direction quickly, rarely a false step or wasted movement
+Great tackler for a big guy, uses his long arms to wrap up the ball carrier and take him down
-Has long arms but doesn’t always use them properly
-Needs to stay low consistently off the snap, when he gets high he gets blocked
-Positional refinement, NFL teams will need to determine what he is moving forward (43 DE, 34 DE, 43 DT, 34 OLB) and then hammer him on technical ability for that position

Overview
Ansah is the hottest name on the draft market right now with people saying he’s going anywhere from the Top 5 to the Top 50. Ansah’s game stock is based mostly on potential and there is a lot of it. He’s a far better prospect than either Barkevious Mingo or Jarvis Jones, to me. He’s got a ceiling that no other prospect can touch in this DE class but that’s the key, this is all based on what he can be, not necessarily on what he is.

Ansah has only been playing football for three years and the growth he has shown as been remarkable. His basketball background has certainly paid dividends on the football field with his athleticism and length. However he’s still learning a lot about the game, and the next step in that will be learning more about the X’s and O’s and improving his awareness and football IQ.

There is little doubt in my mind that Ansah will be a successful defensive player in the NFL, I’m not sure what position that will be at just yet, but I don’t consider that to be a bad thing. This kid is so athletic and so good he could be successful at a myriad of positions. For the time being we’re going to leave him as a DE. He’s without a doubt going to be our top rated senior DE when the next position update comes and we’re really excited to see what he does in Mobile.

With Ansah’s Senior Bowl invite we’ll get to see him v. the best of the best for a full week. All eyes will be on Ansah as he goes up against OT’s like Eric Fisher and Oday Aboushi. He also will be playing alongside so other really athletic DE’s in guys like Jamie Collins and Margus Hunt. Both players should push Ansah to step his game up. Ansah’s Senior Bowl week will be the determining factor in whether he’s truly a Top 5 or Top 50 pick.

For us right now, I see him in the Top 32, I think he’s a first round prospect with the ability to go higher. I just need to see more technical ability from him first.

Scouting Notes
Ezekiel Ansah v. San Jose State
-Slant rush to the inside, then he spins back to the outside to space and gets a nice hit on Fales after he makes the throw
-Lots of natural power, really able to shed blocks at will
-Displaying his immense athleticism as he chases the QB out of bounds from the opposite side of the field
-When his technique is sound he’s nearly impossible to block one on one
-San Jose State has started letting the RB chip in order to help the RT
-Sheds block from RG and makes tackles on Eskridge

Tags: BYU, Cougars, Ezekiel Ansah, NFL Draft

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