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Star Lotulelei and Ziggy Ansah projected to be top five picks by ESPN draft expert (+video)

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 6:14 p.m. MDT

Utah Utes defensive tackle Star Lotulelei celebrates a tackle for a loss against USC during Pac-12 football in Salt Lake City on Oct. 4, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Utah Utes defensive tackle Star Lotulelei celebrates a tackle for a loss against USC during Pac-12 football in Salt Lake City on Oct. 4, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

ESPN draft expert Todd McShay has Utah's Star Lotulelei going No. 1 in the draft to the Kansas City Chiefs, even as teams await more details regarding a heart condition that prevented him from working out at the NFL Combine.

Meanwhile, BYU's Ezekiel Ansah continues his move up the board and is currently projected to go fifth in the draft to the Detroit Lions.

"You may be surprised to see that the No. 1 pick in this third mock draft is the same as the first and the second," McShay said. "Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei remains on top of the draft board despite his heart condition, which was discovered during the course of medical examinations during the NFL draft combine."

Lotulelei's condition is still considered serious and it will be monitored and assessed extensively by teams from now until the draft, but McShay is basing his projection solely based on ability and the Chiefs' need for a top defensive tackle.

Brigham Young defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah answers a question during a news conference at the NFL Football Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 23, 2013. (Michael Conroy, AP) Brigham Young defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah answers a question during a news conference at the NFL Football Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 23, 2013. (Michael Conroy, AP)

Ansah, meanwhile, has shot up the draft boards after his impressive performance in the NFL Combine. Ansah recorded a 4.63 forty time among other feats and generally outperformed projections.

According to McShay all Ansah lacks is experience and it's hard to ignore the raw stats he put up at the combine on the heels of his standout Senior Bowl performance.

McShay recently compared Ansah to Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants.

"Ansah has the some otherworldly combination of size and athleticism as Pierre-Paul," McShay writes. "He has a lot to learn, but Ansah shows surprising versatility for such a raw prospect...Ansah shows an athlete's flexibility, no one at his size runs like he does, and he seems to improve with every game."

Fellow ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper dropped Lotulelei to No. 12 on his so-called "big board" with Ansah moving up a spot to No. 11, largely based on his combine performance.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com; Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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