BYU Cougars edge rusher Ezekiel Ansah is reportedly set to have a private workout with the New England Patriots, and it shows that the Pats are indeed in the market for another pass rusher at defensive end. My preference has been to sign John Abraham (or Dwight Freeney if the price is right), because Abraham is consistent. We also already have enough youth at DE and potential, and I would rather sign a steady veteran. But it sounds like things between Abraham and the Pats fell apart, and the Pats seem willing to go the “best available” route in the 2013 NFL Draft after signing DT Tommy Kelly and giving Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders an offer sheet.
NE Patriots Draft is reporting that Ansah will work out with the Pats, in addition to BYU teammate ILB Brandon Ogeltree.
Ezekiel Ansah obviously has a lot of upside, incredible length, and the type of pass rushing potential off the edge that has some scouts oozing. If he somehow falls down to 29 (that’s not as far-fetched as some might think), I could see the Pats scooping him up. Florida State’s Tank Carradine sometimes gets mocked to the New England Patriots, but I think they would take a flier on Ansah. Again, I think the Pats are willing to go the “best available” route.
Although Jake Bequette has plenty of upside and can be developed into a special pass rusher, he doesn’t have the raw talent or upside of Ansah. Maybe more importantly, Ansah is better coming out of college than Bequette was. The Patriots also have Chandler Jones poised to break out and potentially becoming the next star DE in this league, and DE isn’t viewed as a pressing need for the Pats given their depth there.
But the Pats could use another DE, preferably one who can be a true, impact pass rusher. Ansah most likely won’t fall to the Pats with the 29th pick, and he is a little bit overrated. I do hate the word “upside” (a reason why I’m not as big a fan of Cordarrelle Patterson as others), but Ansah is probably too good to pass up at 29. In any case, you have to be glad the Patriots are at least looking into the possibility of drafting Ansah, and it doesn’t hurt to hold a private workout with a player who could potentially help the team.
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