Ezekiel Ansah has been projected as one of the odds-on favorites to win the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

But one writer thinks another Detroit Lions rookie will have a bigger impact in his first season.

NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah listed seven "instant-impact rookies" for 2013, and cornerback Darius Slay made the cut. Ansah did not.

The Lions selected Slay in the second round, 36th overall, in April.

"The Lions selected defensive end Ziggy Ansah with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but I believe another rookie defender will have a bigger impact in Detroit. Slay is incredibly explosive (4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash) and has impressive ball skills, as evidenced by his five interceptions last fall. He should nail down a starting position during training camp, and I expect him to improve throughout his rookie season. I won't be surprised if Slay matches the five picks he recorded during his final college campaign," Jeremiah wrote.

Slay already has been impressing the Detroit coaching staff, even though he's recurring from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

He's expected to be ready for minicamp to compete for a starting spot opposite fellow cornerback Chris Houston.