Carolina Panthers: Will A.J Epenesa make it to pick No. 38?
The Carolina Panthers are in need of another pass-rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft, but is A.J Epenesa a player worth considering?
A.J. Epenesa comes into this week’s NFL Draft as a very intriguing, high-end recruit and one that is not expected to be around after the top 50 picks.
The Carolina Panthers are after another formidable pass-rushing option to put alongside stud defensive end Kawann Short. They lost Gerald McCoy, Vernon Butler, and Dontari Poe from their line in free agency and this needs to be addressed if they want to be competitive in 2020.
Epenesa was formidable from a production perspective during his time in college with the Iowan Hawkeyes. This has boosted his prospects an untold amount and it is hard not to like the way the player goes about his business.
Pairing Epenesa with Short would give the Panthers two bookend defensive ends that they can count on consistently. The player has a good skill set to start his professional career and he is a coaches’ dream in terms of the engine he possesses.
His overall athleticism isn’t ever going to be elite. But what he lacks in this particular area he more than makes up for in power and consistency.
Much will depend on which way Carolina goes with its No. 7 overall selection in the first round. Regardless of whether their pick is Derrick Brown, Jeff Okudah or Isaiah Simmons, they need additional options on defense. Epenesa’s work ethic and willingness to fight on every down make him an enticing proposition for the Panthers.