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Ziggy Ansah's 2013 NFL Draft stock rising into top five


Is Ziggy Ansah the next Jason Pierre-Paul or the latest one-year wonder? That's the risk-reward ratio you run with the BYU defensive end.

Ansah has received much more top-five attention in the last few days,'s Albert Breer reported Wednesday. The Detroit Lions, with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, might be the landing zone if offensive tackles Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) and Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) are picked beforehand. Defensive line coach Jim Washburn is in the Ansah camp, according to Breer.

Breer noted there are teams interested in moving up and making a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4 overall to jump in front of the Lions.

Ansah was a force last season with 62 tackles, 13 for loss, 4.5 sacks, nine pass breakups, one forced fumble and an interception. He lined up at end, tackle and rush linebacker. That kind of versatility and athleticism on a 6-foot-5, 271-pound frame might be a perfect fit alongside defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

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"Ziggy Ansah is 1 of top physical specimens I've ever seen," senior analyst Gil Brandt tweeted. "Size of 1 finger as big as normal person's 2 fingers. Top 5? I'd take him at 2."

The concern is that Ansah only began playing football in 2010 and was a non-factor his first two seasons. His stamina, technique and consistency all have been questioned.

The Lions lost ends Cliff Avril (Seattle Seahawks) and Kyle Vanden Bosch (free agent), so that's a position of need. Coach Jim Schwartz loves defensive linemen, and the entire defense is predicated off the play of the line.

Ansah is a top-five pick from a pure athleticism standpoint. The question marks make him a gamble. Teams picking so high can't afford to miss on that selection.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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