Is Ezekiel Ansah Too Old For The Steelers To Draft?

BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is a player that several people have the Pittsburgh Steelers taking in the first round of the 2013 draft in their mock drafts. In fact, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper even has him as the Steelers first round selection in his latest 2.0 mock draft.

Ansah, who only started playing football in 2010, is already 23 years old according to Kiper, and while his birth date is unconfirmed, we think that he will be 8733 days old come draft day. Why is that so important? Well, if the Steelers do wind up selecting him he would be the oldest player that general manager Kevin Colbert has ever drafted in the first round since taking over in 2000.

As it stands right now, Casey Hampton is the oldest player the Steelers have ever drafted in the first round and that was way back in 2001. On that particular draft day Hampton was 8632 days old. Ansah, if the above number is indeed correct, would be 101 days older then even Hampton was.

Sure, Ansah might have less football wear and tear on him being as he took up the game so late in life, but if indeed he were to be drafted by the Steelers with the intent of him playing outside linebacker, you would have to figure that he wouldn\’t see the field on the defensive side of the ball until his second season at the earliest. The same would go if the Steelers intended on converting him to a 3-4 defensive end instead, which I don\’t see happening.

The Steelers generally like to draft underclassmen types in round one. The younger the better in their eyes, so it would really go against the grain if they drafted Ansah, especially considering that he is not a plug and play candidate in his rookie season.

Below is a list of the Steelers first round draft picks dating back to 2000 along with their ages.

2000Plaxico Burress8/12/774/15/200022 years, 8 months, 4 days8283
2001Casey Hampton9/3/774/21/200123 years, 7 months, 19 days8632
2002Kendall Simmons3/11/794/20/200223 years, 1 month, 10 days8442
2003Troy Polamalu4/19/814/26/200322 years, 8 days8043
2004Ben Roethlisberger3/2/824/24/200422 years, 1 month, 23 days8090
2005Heath Miller10/22/824/23/200522 years, 6 months, 2 days8220
2006Santonio Holmes3/3/844/29/200622 years, 1 month, 27 days8093
2007Lawrence Timmons5/14/864/28/200720 years, 11 months, 15 days7655
2008Rashard Mendenhall6/19/874/26/200820 years, 10 months, 8 days7618
2009Ziggy Hood2/16/874/25/200922 years, 2 months, 10 days8105
2010Maurkice Pouncey7/24/894/22/201020 years, 8 months, 30 days7578
2011Cameron Heyward5/6/894/28/201121 years, 11 months, 23 days8028
2012David Decastro1/11/904/26/201222 years, 3 months, 16 days8142