Patriots to Hold Private Workout With Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)

Ezekiel Ansah

Ezekiel Ansah is the latest workout target for New England. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

In the annual cacophony of private workouts and official visits by the Patriots, a prospect will sometimes catch your eye and make you think twice about things.

Ezekiel Ansah is just that sort of prospect.

According to a source close to the situation, the Patriots will be working Ansah out this Saturday. Read on to see what I think of the player and the potential draft pick.

Sudden athleticism. That is one of the ways to describe what you see when you put on Ansah’s game footage. “Inexperienced” might be another – he did once try a soccer-style slide tackle. Which one are you going to get this fall? The athleticism or the inexperience? Both?

That is the biggest question that NFL Scouts, General Managers and Head Coaches are going to have to answer in two weeks. Can an NFL team take a chance on a guy that might be a bust, but could have a Jason Pierre-Paul impact? Where is his value?

I’m sure that Bill Belichick has already had that discussion with Nick Caserio and they will be putting the final touches on their evaluation of Ansah this Saturday when they hold a private workout with the former BYU defender.

What Belichick, Caserio, and other NFL evaluators are going to want to see is improved hand usage, ball awareness, football intelligence and use of leverage.

Ansah has length, but doesn’t always use it to his advantage. He has speed and flexibility, but those can be used against him with misdirection. You can read more here on Ansah’s strengths and weaknesses.

If Ansah is able to expand his game, he has the size and athletic ability to play nearly any position. 3-4 Elephant, 4-3 DE, sub-package DT, 3-4 DE… all are possibilities depending on how Ansah and his coaching staff decide to sculpt his body.

It might be a bit unrealistic to project Ansah to the Patriots as he has been slotted in the top fifteen of nearly every 2013 NFL Mock Draft since he entered the national stage during the Senior Bowl. That said, I wouldn’t have thought Vince Wilfork was going to fall to the Patriots either. The fact that the Patriots are even taking the time to work Ansah out tells you something.

If Ansah does fall to within striking range of the Patriots – say pick 19 and on – trading up is in the realm of possibility, even with the dearth of draft picks at the Patriots disposal in 2013.

Adding Ansah to the front seven once again gives New England the flexibility to be incredibly multiple on defense. Wilfork, Armstead, Ansah and Jones with their hand in the dirt, with Spikes, Mayo and Hightower behind them is a pretty menacing sight.

In addition to Ansah, the Patriots will also be working out linebacker Brandon Ogletree. Ogletree led a stout run defense in tackles the last two years and has 4.6 speed to boot.

Other names we continue to hear linked to New England are Utah defensive back Reggie Topps and Northwestern DL Brian Arnfelt. Arnfelt’s 4.8 speed at over 300 pounds is certain to garner some attention, especially as a possible 3-4 DE / 4-3 DT ‘tweener.

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15 Responses to “Patriots to Hold Private Workout With Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)”

  1. Jeff says:

    Interestingly, along with Ansah they worked out two of BYU’s senior middle linebackers, Kaveinga & Ogletree.

  2. Trev says:

    I can’t see it with our lack of picks this year, but is there any way that NE could be considering a trade into the top 10 to try and get Ansah?

    • acm says:

      Unless one of those top 10 teams really, really wants Mallet, no. Trading up in that part of the draft would require this year’s 1st and 2nd and at least next year’s 1st too.

      The Ansah and Jordan workouts have probably more to do with:
      1) smokescreen
      2) getting to know what could soon be real impact players in the NFL, for your opponents.
      3) doing your due diligence ’cause one never knows how far a player might drop, especially someone whose stock is as tough to evaluate as Ansah’s.

    • mjp says:

      Lord I hope not, Ansah has zero pass-rush, still hasn’t developed every down conditioning and he’s so raw that you won’t capitalize on his upside until year 2 or 3 when Brady is on the way out. That’s way too much to give up for such a risky prospect. The JPP comparison is not even reasonable, in 1 game and in 1 series JPP showed more natural ability as a rusher for SFU than Ansah has in his whole career.

      I hope he’s gone by 29 and Tank Carradine is there, I’ll take Tank and his knee rehab in year-1 over Ansah’s unknown developmental curve.

  3. Ralph says:

    I still don’t understand why the Pats got drafted Hightower when they knew Spikes was already a liability on coverage, we need one of those 6’0 235lb cover LB.

    • Bill says:

      Maybe another LB is in the plans, and Hightower is Spikes rep.acement

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I’m projecting we draft LB Sio Moore 6’1″ 245 good cover LB, solid in the run game, maintains his gap responsiblities, good speed at 4.6-40, rushs the passer off the edge. Intelligent player, good intangibles.

    • acm says:

      because they needed good LBs and injuries happen?

      the need for a cover LB would likely be addressed this year as they have been looking at some players who could fit the bill – there is very good talent at that position starting from the 2nd round and all the way to the 5th and even deeper.

  4. Michael says:

    If they can’t land Ansah- they can always take a flyer on Buchanan late in the 2nd rd. After the 2011 season, he was really primed to have a big year, but an all liquid diet while recovering from a broken jaw caused him to drop a lot of weight and strength. I think that attributed more towards a disappointing year than Whitney Mercilus being drafted by the Houston Texans. BB recently worked him out yesterday and I believe his game plays very similar to Mike Vrabel’s.

  5. Jeff M says:

    Almost impossible he’s there. If he’s not Carradine could be just as good an option. If the deal goes through on Sanders though, I think we HAVE to trade back from 29 and get more picks.

    It’s looking as though Bill may go almost all D again and possibly OL this draft…which is what they need to do anyways.

  6. James H says:

    top 2 picks for the pats MUST be impact/starters on defense. preferably pass rush d line and secondary. retaining talib, and dennard’s sentence helps. so does retaining edelman and if sanders is acquired from pittsburgh i think wr drops down a lot on the to do list. so i like them getting ansah, but one of these first two picks has to be someone who can cover.

  7. James H says:

    top 2 picks for the pats MUST be impact/starters on defense. preferably pass rush d line and secondary. retaining talib, and dennard’s sentence helps. so does retaining edelman and if sanders is acquired from pittsburgh i think wr drops down a lot on the to do list. so i like them getting ansah, but one of these first two picks has to be safety or corner.

    • acm says:

      it will be what it will be 🙂

      • cc says:

        Sounds 2me like if they were to snag this guy, the possibilities could be endless. ….
        Having said that, I’d already have Willie McGinest on the phone ready to train and condition him properly. Pay Willie and give him a lil’ Padawan.
        Have Willie get all “Mick” on him. Be haven dude screamin “Yo Adrian” over Gillette Stadium. & then let em loose on 31 other teams!

  8. Jim R says:

    Unlikely this guy would slide however stranger things have happened

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