Finding Broncos: A.J. Epenesa, DL, Iowa | How he Fits, Where he Goes
Arms: 34-1/2 inches
Hands: 10-1/8 inches
40: 5.04 seconds
Bench Press (225 lbs): 17 reps
Vertical Jump: 32.5 inches
Broad Jump: 117 inches
3-Cone: 7.34 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.46 seconds
- Has good size & length
- Strong at setting the edge against the run
- Can widen the B-gap for a blitzer
- Slides laterally very well to hang with moving blockers
- Gets full extension to get strip-sacks
- Has good power rush moves around the edge
- Hand technique is fantastic
- Has a lot of physical tools to work with
- Plenty of rush moves in his arsenal
- Takes advantage of unbalanced blockers
- Brings power into first contact
- Solid change of direction to couple with powerful hands
What happens next for the Broncos in free agency and the draft? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second and sign up for our free newsletter and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!
- Speed isn’t ideal for the NFL edge
- Not the most agile
- Doesn’t have the bend to turn the corner
- Technique against double teams needs work
- Could be quicker with his reads of blockers getting set up
- More urgency to shed blockers as a run defender
There is a misconception that A.J. Epenesa is purely an edge prospect, which isn't exactly fitting. He's actually a true defensive end and the base alignment doesn't matter. He has plenty of power in his hands and good technique to be a 3-,5-, or a 7-technique in the NFL.
Epenesa's Combine numbers were a little disappointing — primarily his 1.78-second 10-yard split at 275 pounds. If he was 285-290, it would be less concerning. He isn’t a super athletic prospect, so his overall speed isn’t a concern either.
This is one prospect many may find themselves overthinking based on the Combine but you can see exactly the type and caliber of player he is when you turn on the tape. Two of Epenesa's best comparisons are Niners' DL DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead.
Fit with Broncos
*See video above.
Where he Goes: Top-20