After trading Calais Campbell, and with Yannick Ngakoue a trade possibility, A.J. Epenesa to the Jaguars is beginning to make sense in the 2020 NFL Draft
With the breaking news that the Jacksonville Jaguars are trading veteran starter, Calais Campbell, look for the Jaguars to invest in the defensive line early in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Jaguars have entered full rebuild mode and will need to replace Campbell to stay relevant in the AFC South. Coming off a 6.5 sack season, Campbell is being dealt to the Ravens for a fifth round pick. Enter A.J. Epenesa.
Look for Jacksonville to invest in the defensive line early in the draft and Iowa EDGE rusher, Epenesa, may be the answer to the new hole in the defense. Epenesa is a large end that wins with power and length, easily filling the void left by the Campbell, a similar rusher in those respects.
Epenesa also is versatile in his ability to cover the run as well as rush the quarterback. He has the production and tools to be a solid addition to any team needy of an EDGE. Epenesa does not fit the stereotype of recent productive pass rushers, but that should not deter the Jaguars and other teams from taking him in the first round.
Given his subpar testing numbers, the Jaguars may ask for Epenesa to play inside too, or at least have the versatility to do so. Give his size and the way that he wins with power instead of speed, this could be a great fit for the Jaguars as well as the former Hawkeye.
Keep an eye on these two sides as the 2020 NFL Draft approaches as the Jags look to be entering tank mode, trading off aging veterans for future draft assets.