It’s August. The 2019 NFL Draft happened back in April.
College football’s regular season hasn’t even started yet. However, that doesn’t stop ESPN’s Todd McShay from projecting.
He wrote out an article showcasing his top 32 prospects, and again, it’s early. However, when talented players are in front of you, it’s pretty easy to pick them out.
Of his top 32, a couple Iowa Hawkeyes made the list.
At No. 9, he has defensive end A.J. Epenesa and at No. 30, is offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. Here’s what McShay said about Epenesa:
“The production was incredible last season, as Epenesa posted 10.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He is an active hand fighter and displays good effort when rushing the passer, getting his arms in passing lanes. And he has the strength — and size — to set the edge against the run when he needs to. But Epenesa lacks lower-body flexibility and closing speed, and still needs a little improvement getting off blocks.
And here’s McShay on Wirfs:
“Wirfs has the ability to shoot his hands and lock on in pass protection, and he’s athletic enough to mirror when he wins with his hands. But he loses inside-outside leverage at times, and explosive speed rushers give him some issues. Wirfs can move defenders off the ball, but he’s not a fundamentally sound run-blocker at this point. His initial footwork and angles are inconsistent, and he plays on his toes and leans, so he occasionally ends up on the ground. Wirfs grades out as an intriguing right tackle with good upside yet lacks polish.”
We’ll be able to see Epenesa and Wirfs in game action this season starting on Aug. 31 when Iowa hosts Miami (Ohio).
To view McShay’s full mock draft, visit ESPN.com (subscription).