In the past I mainly focused on Ziggy Ansah as a potential SAM for the Eagles. He is huge for that spot at 6-5, 274, but has the athletic ability to handle that role. I also think the Eagles could have interest in him as a 5-tech DE. Ziggy would need to add 10 pounds over time to ideally fit the spot, but he can play it.
Let’s take a look at a YouTube video of Ansah in action. You want to watch for a few things here:
* Versatility … he lines up at DE, DT, and NT. Ansah rushes like an upright LB at times.
* Physicality … some guys with a soccer/track background are finesse athletes. Ansah is tough and physical. He’s not afraid to mix it up.
* Athleticism … BYU didn’t have Ansah fly off the edge. You want to look for lateral agility, change of direction ability, and speed/quickness.
* Instincts … watch the INT play. He picks that off because he’s active and aware. Consistently shows a good motor. Chases plays. Runs well.
* Shedding blocks … this ties in to physicality, but Ansah is able to shed blocks. Some DL struggle to get off blocks. Ansah is good at it.
The Eagles would use Ansah as the 5-tech DE in the base 4-3 Under. His role would be to play the run first and foremost. He wouldn’t necessarily have to 2-gap, but he would be setting the edge and playing under control. Once he read the play was a pass, he could then attack upfield. The Eagles could play him at DE or DT in the Nickel. Interestingly, they could use him as a NT in the Nickel if they wanted, leaving Fletcher Cox as the 3-tech. Ansah played NT for BYU in some passing situations and did a solid job.
I could see Chip Kelly liking Ansah because of his athleticism and versatility. Ansah could literally play all over the front seven in the 4-3 or 3-4. Think of him as the modern day Karl Mecklenburg or Howie Long. The flip side is that I’m not sure there is a perfect role for Ansah and you are projecting him because of his limited football background. Is that smart to do with the #4 pick?
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A quick refresher on the DL spots/jobs.
5-technique is a DE that is across from the OT. This is how most 3-4 DEs line up.
3-technique DT is the Cullen Jenkins role. This DL is on the outside shoulder of the OG and rushes upfield. His job is to make plays.
The NT lines up across from the C. In a 1-gap system, the NT will “shade” to one side or the other and attack upfield. In most pure 3-4 systems, the NT is a big guy that 2-gaps and occupies blockers so that the LBs are clean.
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