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  03/30/20 - DE *A.J. EpenesaJr/2020, Iowa

  Epenesa was a productive player by relying on size, technique, motor and nuance over high-end athletic ability at Iowa. And at 6 feet 5 inches and 275 pounds, he more than passes the eyeball test. Combine that with his 30.5 sacks in 26 games in his final two seasons, and it explains why some considered him a potential top 10 pick. On film, at least, he is worthy of being slotted in that draft area. Given the importance of his position and the need to create pass rush off the edge, someone might put more weight on production and talent than physical test scores and take him in that range. But teams better be sure he can overcome what appears to be less-than-desirable athletic ability to become a productive NFL player.

Sensing the concern about his lack of athletic ability, Epenesa tried to put teams at ease. "I think there's some out there trying to say that I might be slow or not explosive, and I just want to show that I'm not slow and not not explosive," he said. "… I want to prove people who doubt me wrong." Unfortunately for him, his 5.04 40 time at the combine - one of the worst at his position - didn't help his cause. He was not much better in the three-cone drill or broad jump, both of which were on the lower end among defensive ends. If teams view Epenesa as strictly a defensive end, those physical numbers make it hard to justify picking him in the upper half of the first round. - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Jr/2020 DE *A.J. EpenesaIowa
News Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

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