Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa slips to middle of 2nd round in 2020 NFL Draft
It was a little later than most expected, but Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa is headed to the NFL.
Epenesa was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, taken by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 54 pick. He was the second Hawkeye picked in this year’s draft, behind offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, who was taken at No. 13 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round.
Coming into the 2019 college football season, Epenesa was projected as a top five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. A slow start to the year and a subpar performance at the NFL Scouting Combine seriously dropped the defensive end’s draft status, which is why he fell from an early pick in the first round to a selection in the middle of the second round.
Epenesa finished his final season at Iowa in convincing fashion. In the final six games, the junior defensive end collected 33 tackles, 8.5 sacks and forced four fumbles. That’s where a majority of his production came from during the 2019 campaign.
Thanks to Epenesa’s contributions late in the year, Iowa ended the year winning six of its final seven games and finished the season with a 10-3 record.