Saints Free Agency

New Orleans Saints: A Look Ahead to 2018 Free Agency

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints reacts during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 24, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints reacts during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 24, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit Lions

A pass-rush combo of “Ziggy” Ansah and Cam Jordan could be deadly. Ansah, the 5th overall pick by the Lions in 2013, is an athletic freak.

He excelled in his rookie year, registering 8.0 sacks in 14 games. He followed it up with two more solid seasons, where he earned PFF grades of 83.8 and 81.3, respectively. In 2015 Ansah reached a career high in sacks with 14.5 total.

Ziggy’s effectiveness extends well beyond the box score as well. Pro Football Focus generates a stat known as pass-rush productivity (PRP), which “measures pressure created on a per snap basis with weighting towards sacks”. In other words, a percentage indicating how often a player successfully pressures the quarterback. Ansah posted PRP percentages of of 12.1 in 2014 and 13.6 in 2015. Those marks were 4th and 2nd best in the league, respectively.

A deal for Ansah will likely require a good chunk of cap space. But the 28 year-old has shown he’s capable of being an elite force in this league. With the Lions, he often saw pass protection slid towards him. He dealt with TE/RB chips and double teams constantly. Imagine what he could do opposite Cam Jordan? Opposing quarterbacks would have to pick their poison.

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