DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) Some Lions fans were scratching their heads at the team’s draft pick — who has only started in nine games.
And it turns out, he wasn’t the team’s first choice.
The Lions’ general manager Martin Mayhew called into the Stoney and Bill show Monday morning on 97.1 The Ticket where he laid out the strategy that brought Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah to town.
Why did they pick him? Ansah grew up in Ghana playing soccer and pickup hoops. He moved to the United States, getting a scholarship at BYU, twice tried to make for the basketball team at BYU and was a walk-on in track. He joined the football program three years ago — when he didn’t know how to put on shoulder pads.
“You’re always looking for quality players, you’re looking for guys who can make your team and contribute something,” Mayhew said, adding, “You pretty much follow your draft board.”
He said there were a couple punters they liked, but they ended up “following the board through the entire process.” He said they had five names ready, and Ziggy was the third highest person on their board.
Who were the top two? He wouldn’t say.
He did say the team liked Michigan’s Denard Robinson and followed him through the entire process, but they had him rated below Ziggy. Despite reports to the contrary, he added the team didn’t call Robinson, though he does believe he will be “a quality player in the league” and “very successful.”
Tim Tebow was released by the Jets this weekend, so would the Lions have any interest in Tim Tebow?
“I feel good about our quarterbacks right now, we’ve got four on our roster and we typically go with four, but I’m the kind of guy who never says never,” Mayhew said, adding, “We like our starting quarterback and we like him on the field, I like him on the field 100 percent of the time.”
Five of the Lions’ recent 29 picks have been arrested. On Ronnell Lewis, the Lions’ defensive end who was Tasered twice by police last week after a bar brawl in Norman, Okla., Mayhew said, “It’s totally out of character for Ronnell … I’m just very disappointed, as we always are … The good thing about Ronnell is he confessed immediately, came to see me, came looking for Tom, came to see the head coach, he was very embarrassed about the whole situation.”
He added: “It’s frustrating because we really certainly are trying to bring in guys with high character, high football character and high personal character, and in Ronnell we felt like we had that guy so it’s disappointing to see him involved in something like this. Hopefully, for his sake, he gets it straightened out.”