Ezekiel Ansah, Sheldon Richardson Scouting Reports
At NBC, I started my annual “Potential Cowboys Draft Picks” series. I began with analysis on BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.
At 6’6’’, 270 pounds, Ansah has ideal size for either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. He has good natural strength, although his functional, in-game strength isn’t up to NFL standards just yet. The potential is there to add some bulk without decreasing quickness, so you could see big strides from Ansah after his first season in the NFL when he can go through an entire offseason routine.
Ansah can still play powerfully because he’s fast and explosive. As a pass-rusher, he has an excellent bull-rush because he can reach top speed quickly and drive offensive tackles into the backfield. His pass-rush repertoire isn’t vast at this point, and a lot of his pressure came on stunts at BYU.
Ansah also played inside at times in college, although he looks more comfortable on the outside. He doesn’t consistently win at the point-of-attack, so teams will likely run right at him in his rookie season. Ansah can still play the run well when it’s away from him; his pursuit and play recognition, in particular, are both much better than you’d think for someone without much football experience.
See the rest at NBC.
Today, I followed it up with a scouting report on Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
At 6’4’’, 295 pounds, Richardson’s athleticism is off the charts. When Richardson enters the league, don’t be surprised if he immediately becomes the fastest defensive tackle in the NFL; he’s that explosive. Richardson should light up the Combine; combined with his game tape, it’s a recipe for rising up draft boards.
With his skill set, Richardson will be a one-gap player in the NFL. He’s at his best when he can penetrate and use his quickness to make plays. I’ve seen reports that he’s a very strong player but, considering his size, I don’t think that’s accurate. Richardson can play powerfully when he shoots gaps and uses his speed to knock defenders into the backfield, but as it stands right now, he won’t consistently hold up at the point, i.e. he’s not a two-gap player who can stand his ground and shed blockers.
The good news is that Richardson could easily add some bulk, if necessary. I personally think he should stay below 300 pounds to maintain his elite quickness, but he could get to 305 or 310 pounds and still be an explosive player on the inside. As you’d expect, Richardson is phenomenal in pursuit, scraping down the line-of-scrimmage like a big linebacker.