After making the playoffs two seasons ago, the Detroit Lions are trying to rebound from a frustrating 4-12 mark in 2012. While the numbers provide a reason to believe the Lions won’t be as bad– or unlucky– as they were last year and the spotlight rightly belongs on stars like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, and Ndamukong Suh, plenty will be asked of the team’s first-round draft pick (fifth overall), DE Ziggy Ansah. The question is not whether Ansah presents himself like a young, professional athlete– he answered that in the affirmative on draft day— but whether he will be able to avoid serving as the second coming of Darko Milicic. (After all, Darko thought he knew a thing or two about style too.) Ansah has played twenty-three games of football ever, all of them at BYU, and many of them on special teams. Ansah’s ability to develop his body, which he describes as “a delicate flower,” into one that can help solidify a talented but perpetually raw NFL defense will go a long way in determining whether the Lions will improve on their 2012 season. Coach Jim Schwartz said “the best is yet to come with . . . Ziggy.” When your team spends the fifth overall pick on a player as inexperienced as Ansah, that had better be true.
NFL Quick Hits 2013: Ziggy Ansah