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2013 NFL Draft: Ezekiel Ansah talks about being picked by Lions

Here's a look at what defensive end Ezekiel Ansah had to say about being picked by the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.

Al Bello

Below is a recap of what defensive end Ezekiel Ansah had to say about being picked in the first round by the Detroit Lions on Thursday night. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On joining the Detroit Lions: "I know a little bit of Detroit, but I know that Detroit has a pretty good coaching staff. I did a little work with them at the Senior Bowl. I'm really excited to work with them."

On if someone told him a few years ago that he would be the fifth overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft: "I'd be like, ‘I don't know what you're thinking, man.' But this is a reality and I know that I've worked hard toward this and I actually earned it. I'm so happy to be here."

On the biggest area of improvement he needs for his game: "You know, I've been playing this game for a few years. The Detroit Lions were able to coach me in the Senior Bowl and I liked their coaching staff a lot. As for my weaknesses and my strengths, I know that they will work with me and I'm willing to put in the hard work. Obviously, I've got a lot to do, but there's nothing specific that I would say is my weakness."

On how comfortable of a transition this will be after working with the Lions staff at the Senior Bowl: "It will be a lot easier. I'm really comfortable with them. I know how our coach is so, you know, just like giving me that chance is going to make it a lot easier."

On if the scheme at the Senior Bowl fits his style of play: "Yeah, I would say. It does not matter to me what I play. Coming out of BYU, I played numerous positions, pretty much the whole defensive line. But with the Detroit Lions, if we put out in the nine against the quarterback, which I did during the Senior Bowl, then I'm happy to do that."

On the first time he saw American football: "The first year I saw it on TV was the first year when I came here and that was in 2008. During that same year was when I actually went to a BYU game."

On what gives him the confidence that he can be successful in the NFL: "You know, this is a league, business. How you play really determines how good you're going to be. It's a production-based sport. It doesn't matter the experience that I got. All I know is I've just got to produce and work on my technique and I know that the Detroit Lions are willing to work with me."

On if he sees himself being able to make a big contribution this season: "It depends on where the team puts me. I will probably start on their defensive line, you know, put me out there on the wide. You know, I've just got to go hard every single play. I can't tell you that I'm going to make all the plays. I'm not going to make any promises. All I have to do is work hard and see what happens."

On how he came to BYU: "I have a really good family back home that told me about BYU when I was done with high school and I got pretty good grades coming out of high school. They helped me apply to BYU and I was accepted."

On if soccer is the main sport in Ghana: "Yeah, growing up as a little kid, you know, everybody's just playing soccer all over the place."

On why he wanted to play basketball when he came to the United States: "I started to play basketball after a while in middle school because my brother played basketball. I was like, ‘This is a good sport.' I played basketball back home so I wanted to pursue that."

On what athlete he looked up to growing up: "Yeah, I actually looked up to LeBron James. He's one of my favorite athletes."

On if he had ever heard of football while living in Ghana: "No, not at all."

On who suggested that he should play football: "I have a really good friend back here out in Utah and a couple friends from Ghana and some family. They actually encouraged me to go tryout for football since basketball didn't work."

On the Lions defensive line: "Man, I just can't wait to be a part of that line. Those guys are resilient. They are hard-working and the defensive coach line talked to me a lot about them when we were at the Senior Bowl. I'm just happy to be lined up next to them."

On what this journey has been like for him: "It's been a humbling experience and a crazy journey. You know, I always had caution my very last year and I just wanted to be the best that I could be coming out of college. It's been a great experience along being in New York and being the overall fifth pick for the Lions. It's just so humbling."

On if he wants to be a role model for children in Ghana: "Yeah, one thing I want to do is just to be an ambassador with the NFL and bring the game back to Ghana because I know that there are little kids back home that are going to be pretty good at this game. I can try to introduce the game to the people in Africa. I know all my friends and family back home all were witnesses to this today."

On what he knows about the city of Detroit: "I don't really know much about the city of Detroit. I know it's a pretty cool city, which is great. So, I'm just happy to come in tomorrow, explore the city and just have fun."

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