In just three seasons, the Detroit Lions have watched former first-round pick Ziggy Ansah become one of the best young pass rushers in the NFL.
Ansah finished third in the league in sacks last season with 14.5 and earned a second-team All-Pro selection. He was the first Lions defensive end to be named to the Pro Bowl since Robert Porcher in 2002.
His 14.5 sacks surpassed DE William Gay (13.5 sacks in 1983) for the second-most sacks in a season by a Lions defensive player since 1982 (Porcher had 15.0 in 1999).
Ansah's become a dominant player in this league. General manager Bob Quinn has to feel good that Ansah will play 2016 under the fourth year of his rookie contract for the Lions, and then the team has a fifth-year option for 2017 they can pick up by May 2.
"Yeah, we've talked about that briefly," Quinn said at the NFL League Meetings, when asked about picking up that 2017 option. "I think we looked into it a couple days ago and no team has picked up the option on any fifth-year option for that draft class yet.
"So, we still have until May 2 to do that. Still in some conversations with the people back in Detroit and his representative, but we're working toward that."
Among all the players drafted over the past three seasons (2013-15), Ansah is tops in the sack department with 30.0. Both head coach Jim Caldwell and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin have said that Ansah is just scratching the surface of his potential.
As for some of Ansah's draft mates from that stellar 2013 haul by the Lions, extensions could make sense this offseason for players heading into the final year of their contracts like Darius Slay, Theo Riddick and Sam Martin, but Quinn said those conversations will ramp up after next month's draft.
"I have not had any specific conversations with any players about extensions," Quinn said. "We have some meetings planned here after the draft probably.
"But we're trying to take it one step at a time. Free agency, the draft and then there's time to do extensions after that."