Photo of Ziggy Ansah
Drafted By: Lions
  • Round 1
  • Pick 5
  • Overall 5

Combine Results

93.8 ?
  • 4.63 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 21 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 34.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 118.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.11 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.26 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He never came to football until 2010 as a walk-on. He was not even on NFL teams' radars. He wasn't even on their scouting lists. He's a boom-or-bust candidate. I love the kid. Three years from now, he's an All-Pro or he's on the streets, and I don't mean that negatively." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'5" Height
  • 35 1/8" Arm Length
  • 271LBS. Weight
  • 10 1/4" Hands


Athleticism and potential are not buzzwords often associated with BYU prospects in recent years. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall would likely admit he stumbled into defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah (pronounced Ahn-saw). A native of Accra, Ghana, Ansah tried out for the basketball team in 2008 and 2009. After failing both times, he joined the track team but left and joined the football program in 2010 despite warnings from Mendenhall and his staff. The then-sophomore conceded to being worried of how much contact occurred in a football game and noted he always considered his body "a delicate flower."

After switching sports, Ansah worked through winter training, where he gassed out after nearly every drill. However, with a strong work ethic and added bulk to his thin frame, Ansah earned the trust of coaches and continued to practice with the special teams units through the 2011 season. In 18 games, Ansah accumulated a total of 10 tackles (the majority on special teams), one pass breakup, and one credited quarterback hurry. Despite still not being on scholarship entering his senior season, Ansah bulked up to nearly 270 pounds in an effort to learn two defensive roles, outside linebacker and defensive end. He lined up at defensive end in a three-man front, outside linebacker in a four man front, and even some snaps at three technique or nose tackle on third downs. Finally, in his one season as a full-time starter, Ansah tallied 62 tackles, 13 for loss, including 4.5 sacks. The versatile defensive lineman added nine pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one interception while lining up as a rush outside linebacker, defense end and defensive tackle.



Combination of size, length, and foot speed is nearly unparalleled. Delivers solid first contact that jolts opponent back. Continues to press and locate ball carriers in the backfield. Consistently sheds at the line of scrimmage, envelopes his target with a strong grasp and outstanding closing burst. Flashes the complete package, specifically when rushing from the edge. When lining up inside a natural anchor shows up, helped by low pad level off the snap. Burst off of extension is counter move, gains significant ground on target. Obvious coaching on technique is absorbed and implemented.


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.

NFL Comparison

Justin Tuck

Bottom Line

It's amazing how far Ansah's technique has come in such a short amount of time, not to mention how much he has transformed his body to fit the role coaches want him to play. Sizable frame coupled with outstanding closing speed and natural power. Ansah is rough around the edges, but height/weight/speed with positional versatility makes for a tantalizing upside.
Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.