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.
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