Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa Enters Draft

Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa is going pro. On Tuesday, the top pass rusher announced that he’ll skip his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Epenesa is widely projected to be a first-round pick and could very well land in the Top 10. Ohio State’s Chase Young ranks as everyone’s top edge rusher, but after that, Epenesa figures to be the second defensive end taken in April.

Epenesa boasts serious power and block-shedding ability at 6’6″ and 280 pounds. This year, he notched 11.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss, cementing his status as one of the best at his position.

The Buccaneers, who pick at No. 14 overall, could represent Epenesa’s floor. Epenesa could help the Bucs replace Shaquil Barrett if he signs a lucrative free agent deal elsewhere. Or, better yet, the Bucs could retain Barrett and slot Epenesa in at the other bookend to bolster their pass rush.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 comments on “Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa Enters Draft

  1. wrigleyhawkeye

    Not a surprise. He’s been a beast and was taking on double and on occasion triple teams (when RB needed to help) this season.

  2. ruckus727

    No way he gets to the Bucs at 14 but that would be awesome. Though I believe he has some JJ Watt to his game and would slot in better as a 5-technique as opposed to being an OLB opposite Barrett in the Bucs 3-4 scheme. He, Vea, and Suh would make a formidable DL. With Barrett, White, David, and JPP at LB. Thats how you cover up that inexperienced secondary.

    • juanpursuit

      I believe that the chance is greater than you assume, but even so it’s not great.

      • ruckus727

        I hope he does. Any team that passes on him outside if the top 4 or 5 will regret it in a year or two in my opinion. He looks like an absolute stud.

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