NFL Draft: Lions take chance on BYU end Ansah
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org April 25, 2013 11:26PM
Oregon State v BYU
Updated: April 26, 2013 9:07PM
The Detroit Lions, who have had hits and misses in the first round of the NFL draft in recent years, took a chance on one of the biggest hit-or-miss players this year.
After losing Cliff Avril in free agency and releasing Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Lions filled the hole at defensive end by selecting BYU pass rusher Ezekiel ‘‘Ziggy’’ Ansah with the fifth pick.
Ansah, who grew up playing soccer in Ghana, is one of the biggest success stories in the history of the draft. He has tremendous natural ability, but he didn’t play football until he walked on at BYU in 2010 after failing to make the basketball team and then running track. He was coming off the bench at the start of the 2012 season and has started nine games in his life.
Tackling the top
The Kansas City Chiefs took offensive tackle Eric Fisher of Central Michigan with the first pick in NFL draft Thursday, and the Jacksonville Jaguars used the second pick on offensive tackle Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M. It marked the first time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger that offensive tackles went 1-2.
Fisher became the first player from the Mid-American Conference drafted No. 1. He is the third offensive tackle chosen first since the merger, joining Orlando Pace in 1997 and Jake Long five years ago.
Two trades were made in the top eight picks. The Miami Dolphins sent their first- (No. 12) and second-round pick (No. 42) to the Oakland Raiders to move up to No. 3 for Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan.
The St. Louis Rams traded their first-round pick (No. 16), a second-rounder (No. 46) and a seventh-rounder to the Buffalo Bills for the No. 8 pick, which they used on West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. The Bills also flipped third-round picks with the Rams, trading the 71st pick for the 78th pick.
Living on the edge
ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, who rarely is critical in the “Monday Night Football” booth, questioned the Dolphins’ selection of Jordan, who has been a stand-up pass rusher in college.
‘‘My only concern with a one-dimensional edge rusher is you can counter them [with running backs and tight ends to chip],’’ Gruden said. ‘‘I don’t see him running over [offensive] tackles. I don’t see him with inside moves.
‘‘He does an excellent job getting off the ball and beating tackles as an edge rusher. For him to be a great pro, he’s going to have to do more than rush around the edge because some of these running backs and tight ends can’t wait to chip him.’’
Jets go defense
With two first-round picks, the New York Jets loaded up on defense. They took Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner at No. 9 and Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson at No. 13.
The Jets acquired the 13th pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for cornerback Darrelle Revis on Sunday.