The Grades For The Epenesa Pick

Iowa's A.J. Epenesa went in the second round of the NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills. (USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Former Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa went in Friday's second round of the NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills.

A look at the national analysis of the selection.

Sports Illustrated

Grade: C+

Analysis: "You wonder if the Bills might run into the same problem with Epenesa that they had with former first-rounder Shaq Lawson: a lack of top-flight explosiveness. Like Lawson, Epenesa does not quite wow you with his flexibility or second- and third-step burst. But Lawson’s downfall was he never became technically savvy enough to fully overcome his pass rushing limitations. Epenesa, on the other hand, has drawn praise for his technique. Still, with Buffalo’s one-gap attacking 4-3 scheme, this doesn’t appear to be an ideal player and scheme fit. But if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s Bills GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. Their defense performed like one of the best-coached and constructed units in football last season."


Analysis: "With half a dozen players on the board who also fit a team need, the Bills selected a player many analysts believed had first-round value. After losing pass-rusher Shaq Lawson and signing veteran Mario Addison in free agency this offseason, Buffalo needed a foundational player at defensive end — and Epenesa fits that mold.

"He isn't flashy, but the former Hawkeye is massive at 6-foot-6, 280 pounds and powerful. Epenesa should bolster the Bills' defense against the run and can be used situationally behind Addison, Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy — plus he comes from a program at Iowa that Bills coach Sean McDermott loves." — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Grade: A

Analysis: "The Bills traded their first-round pick to Minnesota in the deal for receiver Stefon Diggs, so it was not a surprise that they used their second-round pick on a defender. Epenesa's consistency has been questioned by scouts, which helps explain why he was not a first-round pick despite some excellent games. He'll be a solid, if not spectacular, strong-side end — a spot where they needed some depth." — Chad Reuter

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

A steal for the Bills. I thought he would go higher though.