Ziggy Ansah didn’t have a tackle in last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the first time this season he failed to register on the stat sheet. This week, he tumbled down ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s rookie rankings, dropping from No. 4 two weeks ago to No. 20 on Thursday.

But Lions coach Jim Schwartz defended the first-year defensive end’s play on Friday, and said anyone being too critical of Ansah doesn’t know what they’re watching.

“We’ve been happy with what he’s doing,” Schwartz said. “Like all young players, there’s going to be some inconsistencies. I’d be careful. I get emails around the office, I’d be careful reading someone else’s evaluation of our players. If there’s going to be an evaluation, I would trust the team’s evaluation, which we don’t share. … They don’t know what schemes we’re running, they don’t know what he’s asked to do within the defense.”

The fifth overall pick in April’s draft, Ansah ranks second on the Lions with three sacks despite a steep learning curve after playing just three seasons of college football.

He opened the season as a rotational player behind Willie Young and Jason Jones, but has started the last five games at right end and made a handful of big plays.

Ansah had two sacks and seven tackles against Washington last month, and another sack and jarred loose a fumble the Lions failed to recover in a loss at Green Bay three weeks ago.