AJ Epenesa is a versatile and dynamic wide receiver. His speed, strength, and ability to create havoc in the backfield are impressive. Check out some of the highlights of this freshman’s career. It’s easy to see why Epenesa is one of the top prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. He can play on either side of the line or in the slot. Here are some of his best plays in the NFL.
AJ Epenesa’s speed
As an edge rusher, AJ Epenesa’s size and strength are the most obvious qualities to notice in his speed highlights. While his size and strength are impressive, it is his speed that limits his success at the next level. Fortunately, he has more to offer than just power. Here are three examples of his speed that will catch the attention of opposing offensive linemen. This is why the Buffalo Bills are excited to have him in the fold.
AJ Epenesa’s fast hands make him a dangerous pass rusher. He also has a good bull rush and can ride tackles back into the quarterback. He also has strong hands that enable him to grab tackles and throw them to one side. In addition, his burst allows him to get in close to the quarterback and make plays from there. While his speed can make him a top-level pass rusher in college, he will need to have a backup plan in the NFL.
Another of his speed highlights involves a blocking move against Wisconsin. He springs off the line on a third-and-four play against the Badgers. He meets his matchup with Rimington-Pace Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. He then blocks the punt, bringing down the quarterback. With his speed, Epenesa’s blitz moves can make opponents miss.
AJ Epenesa’s combine results indicate he is a legitimate prospect for a lineman spot. He ran a 5.04-second 40-yard dash, and he made an impressive 1.78-second 10-yard split. This is a crucial statistic for offensive linemen, as the 10-yard split is a measure of initial quickness. However, defensive tackle results aren’t necessarily indicative of an elite edge rusher.
Despite being a rookie, Epenesa has already outperformed the likes of Shaq Lawson and Bogie Basham, and is on the verge of earning a starting position on the Bills’ depth chart. His power moves and speed have improved considerably from last season, and he has played well against backup left tackles Dion Dawkins and Luke Tenuta. However, he will need to improve his overall strength before he can take the next step.
The nagging question for many football fans is how Epenesa’s strength translates to the NFL. She was a star prospect during her college career but fell out of the first round, landing only 11 picks shy of the third round. Epenesa is one of the most highly touted athletes in the draft, and his success could have long-term consequences for the Steelers. To answer this question, The Athletic analyzed Epenesa’s sophomore and junior seasons, assessing his strengths and weaknesses, as well as his long-term potential.
His strong-armed approach allows him to create pressure while also using his body scanning ability. His consistent body scanning ability allows him to exploit weak spots in the offensive lineman’s defense. Using the offensive tackle’s momentum against him allows Epenesa to take advantage of the defensive lineman’s weakness and create pressure on the quarterback. His explosive first step gives him an edge over his opponent, but he is beaten too late.
As a true freshman, Epenesa made an immediate impact on the Iowa defense. He registered 4.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries in his first season. Although he did not officially start for the Iowa defense until the 2019 season, Epenesa saw plenty of action on the field. As a senior, he led the Big Ten with nine sacks and was a force on opposing offensive lines.
However, there is a problem with Epenesa’s athleticism. Because he lacks the physical strength and quickness to play stand-up rusher, his athleticism may not translate to the next level. In addition to this, he might not be able to handle a role in the space at the next level. In other words, he might struggle to play linebacker in the NFL.
Despite Epenesa’s lack of speed, his explosiveness is unmatched in this year’s defensive end class. He also has excellent reading of offensive tackles, which gives him the ability to walk his opponents into the backfield. Overall, he’s a capable run defender and could make a significant impact in his first season with the Giants. With a strong leg, he can be a huge impact in the NFL.
His ability to create havoc in the backfield
When it comes to creating havoc in the backfield, the Vikings have a number of options. It all starts with Epenesa, a defensive lineman who can create havoc with his ability to create a pocket. His speed off the line and ability to read the defense’s holes make him a threat to sack quarterbacks. Here are a few ways he can disrupt the running game.
As a hybrid defensive tackle, Epenesa has a good shot to make an impact in Buffalo’s defense. He’ll probably play thirty to forty percent of the defensive snaps, but his potential could be realized sooner than expected. If Buffalo plays with a lead, he could see more playing time. The Bills also have two high-drafted defensive tackles behind him, which means he could be more involved in the running game.
Despite his size, Epenesa can be profiled as a hybrid defensive tackle or defensive end. With his versatility and size, he can create havoc in the backfield, and he can even move inside on passing downs to give teams an edge on the interior with his pass rush. If he can stay healthy, he’ll continue to make an impact in the backfield for his team.
Whether he’s rushing the passer or making a play on special teams, Epenesa has the ability to create havoc in the backfield. His speed and strength make him an asset on the outside, and his size and agility can play on either side of the field. This versatility can help him make the difference in a field goal situation. In addition to his speed, Epenesa can play on the outside as a power rusher.
He is also a strong pass rusher, and he could form a strong pass rush tandem with Rousseau. Epenesa’s strength makes him an effective edge-rusher, and he’s also explosive enough to set the edge against the run. Boogie Basham is another rookie with tremendous potential. Basham has heavy hands and spin moves to attack the quarterback. Efe Obada, a rookie from Carolina, has 5.5 sacks last year.
In training camp, A.J. Epenesa has played multiple positions. In Iowa, he was asked to play both the edge and in the gap when the Bills ran a heavy rush. The versatility of Epenesa’s skill set has impressed the Bills’ defensive coordinator. He credits veteran teammates with helping him learn the playbook. He’ll soon get to see what his versatility can do for the team.
His athleticism and versatility should help him get a look from NFL teams early in the draft. Epenesa isn’t an elite athlete, but his numbers don’t disqualify him from the draft. They should build skepticism over his ability to translate his skills to the pros, but they don’t necessarily rule him out. If he is selected by a team, he could be an excellent fit as an interior rusher.
His strength and agility make him a versatile defensive end. He can play right or left defensive end on a 4-3 defense, and he can also play the inside of a 3-4 defensive front. His versatility makes him a valuable long-term contributor on defense. And because of his size and strength, he can play all three downs. That’s important for a defensive lineman, who must be able to play multiple positions and get the job done.
His versatility makes him a desirable first-round pick. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be a valuable cog in the Patriots’ pass rush. By Year three, he’ll be a dependable 5tech defensive end in a speed package or 3-tech in base downs. His versatility makes him a valuable member of the defensive line rotation, and his potential should be appreciated.
A.J. Epenesa’s versatility has impressed Bills defensive coordinators Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier. He also attended the Von Miller Pass Rush Summit in late June with Broncos All-Pro Von Miller. He invited the rookie through Instagram. In return, he said, he’ll give Epenesa the opportunity to learn from his mentor and grow as a player.