I admit that I like the idea of the Lions drafting Ziggy Ansah at #5. I simply feel that Ansah is a rare potential playmaker at DE worthy of the #5 pick. Ansah looks dominant athletically on tape and he also seems to play with a very fluid and persistent ability to find the football, again, those are rare traits in a 270 lb. defensive player. On one play in the Senior Bowl, Ansah hunted down and tackled Denard Robinson for a loss on a reverse sweep, and he looked like a fluid OLB on the play.
However, I recently went back and looked at Nick Fairley's college highlights and the pre-draft information coming out about Nick Fairley, and it was amazing to me to see a lot of similarities in these players' games. Fairley also flashed an incredible ability to " hunt down " the QB in space and to make plays on the ball carrier from the back side. Fairley is very quick off the ball and pursues with a vengeance. Fairley could probably get down to a playing weight of 290 or so, which gets him close to DE playing weight. He ran a 4.84 40 coming out whereas Ansah ran a 4.63, still a 4.84 isn't exactly slow. While Fairley doesn't move quite as well as Ansah in space, I was struck by the thought that he does seem to move very well enough to possibly play the DE position in a wide-nine 4-3 NFL defense.
So, this is the reason for this post, to simply ask the question . . . Could the Lions ever consider Fairley as a DE ? What could that look like ? Fairley at perhaps 290 lbs playing DE and then having his current DT position manned by a 320 pound, more straight up run stopper like a CJ Mosley or another DT that we pick up in the middle rounds of the draft.
Or maybe even we draft Lotulelei at #5 to play DT, move Fairley to DE, and then on a line like that, maybe you can play a smaller DE opposite Fairley like a Willie Young or a Ronnel Lewis and you have a dominant D line.
I still like Ansah though. I'm looking for playmakers baby ! and I'm just a wonderin' if Fairly couldn't also be quite a special playmaker at DE.