2020 NFL Draft Profile: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

A.J. Epenesa

Defensive end, Iowa Hawkeyes
6-5, 275
40 time: 5.04


Dec 27, 2019; San Diego, California, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive end A.J. Epenesa (94) holds the most valuable defensive player trophy after the Holiday Bowl against the Southern California Trojans at SDCCU Stadium. Iowa defeated USC 49-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On a deep Iowa defense, Epenesa saw few opportunities early in his career, but he has delivered with production since Day 1. As a true freshman, 5.5 of his 15 tackles went for loss, including 4.5 sacks. He more than doubled that production in 2018 despite still not being a full-time starter, finishing with 37 tackles (16.5 for loss), 10.5 sacks, four batted passes and four forced fumbles. Finally a full-time starter in 2019, he racked up 49 tackles (14.5 for loss), 11.5 sacks, three batted passes and four forced fumbles.

Not known for his athleticism, Epenesa’s NFL Scouting Combine workout was well below average. He ran the slowest 40-yard dash (5.04 seconds) of any sub-300 pound D-lineman and tied for last at the position in the bench press (17 reps).

Projection: First Round

Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)

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