Posted: 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2013
By David Fucillo
The 2013 Niners Nation NFL mock draft moves along to pick No. 8. The Buffalo Bills are on the clock and and their decisions are being made by wiseguy545. With the eighth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU.
Explanation: While the Bills' biggest need (by a fairly wide margin) is a franchise quarterback, there are none worthy of a top-10 selection with Geno Smith off the board. Unless Kolb has improved dramatically since we last saw him, he is nothing more than a stopgap solution, and Tarvaris Jackson is, well, Tarvaris Jackson. The Bills will select a QB relatively early in this draft. But just not right now. Teams have frequently been burned by taking second or third round talents in the top half of the first round just because of pressing need (Jake Locker and Christian Ponder say hi) but we will not fall into that trap. We have too many other needs to reach that dramatically with our top pick. I ended up coming down to two guys: Ansah and Tennessee WR Cordarelle Patterson. But in the end, Ansah won out.
Around this time of year, phrases like "freak athlete" and "unlimited potential" get thrown around wantonly. Ansah is one of the few guys who might actually be worthy of them. Ansah is a 270 pound defensive end who ran a 4.6 second 40. He could be the versatile pass rusher Bills' GM Buddy Nix is looking for, having played all over the BYU defense (lining up everywhere from nose tackle to outside linebacker). He is raw as sushi, but his position coaches report that he responded very well to the coaching he received at the Senior Bowl, even dominating fellow first-round pick Lane Johnson for a stretch.
Despite less than a year of starting at BYU, Ansah is considered by many to be a top-10 lock, with potential to sneak into the top-5. Despite spending a dump truck full of cash on defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, the Bills' pass rush ranked a pedestrian 18th in sacks in 2012. Williams came on strong towards the end of the year after recovering from injury but Anderson disappointed throughout, and will be looking at the chopping block if he does not improve significantly in 2013. Ansah will need some serious attention from the Bills coaching staff, and will probably be limited to a situational pass rushing role in 2013. But if he can realize his immense potential, the rest of the league will be on high alert.
In many ways, Ansah and Patterson are similar prospects. Both are high-risk, high upside players whose lack of experience with high-level football are offset by their ridiculous athleticism and physical potential. Either would be a welcome addition to the Bills' roster. However, given the depth of WRs in this draft and the importance of being able to pressure the QB in today's pass-happy NFL, Ansah gets the nod.
Trevor Woods: As we witnessed in 2012 when the Bills played the 49ers, Buffalo's defense needs improving, and Ansah would improve it. The Bills are switching to a hybrid defense, this would allow Ansah to get in on more downs, play both OLB and DE. I really like this pick and feel this could be a very likely selection come draft day. Other options would be Barkevious Mingo and Jarvis Jones.
Nick Chiamardas: Ziggy Ansah might be the most hyped player in this year's draft next to Margus Hunt. I'm not saying the hype isn't worth it. He's a phsycial freak and capable of lining up just about anywhere in the front seven. Finding a position for Ansah will be priority one for what ever team he lands on. In Buffalo, he wouldn't have to start at OLB right away which could benefit his progression. He could be used in a variety of ways along the line and in passing situations. Great fit for the Bills, but very risky for a team that hasn't exacltly hit homeruns in recent draft history.
Niners Nation Mock Draft, Round 1