Lions’ Ansah selected fourth overall in 2016 Pro Bowl draft

Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah had 14.5 sacks in 2015.
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah was the fourth-overall pick in the 2016 Pro Bowl draft. He landed with the team coached by Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, captained by Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman and Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

Ansah Tweeted his reaction after becoming one of Team Irvin’s top picks.

Via Ansah’s verified Twitter account:

The Lions selected Ansah fifth-overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, and he finally showed his full potential as a pass-rusher this past season. The 6-foot-6, 279-pound lineman fought his way into the backfield for 14.5 sacks in 2015 — only Houston’s J.J. Watt (17.5) and Oakland’s Khalil Mack (15.0) had more.

In addition to his high sack total, Ansah had 47 tackles (39 solo, three for losses), four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a defended pass. Detroit’s defense ranked 18th in the NFL, surrendering an average of 349.6 yards per game in 2015. However, in Ansah, the Lions have a 26-year-old force around whom they can build a potentially dominant unit.

Ansah was the only Lions player selected in this year’s Pro Bowl draft. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson was invited to attend, but he turned down the invitation.

Follow Kevin Boilard on Twitter: @KevinBoilard