The Duel

3 Most Likely NFL Teams to Target A.J. Epenesa in 2020 NFL Draft

David Kaestle
A.J Epenesa projects to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
A.J Epenesa projects to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. / Justin Casterline/Getty Images
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While many consider Chase Young to be the best overall defensive player in the 2020 NFL Draft, there is a stark drop-off after him when it comes to true EDGE rushers. Next you have LSUs K'Lavon Chaisson, and followed by him is either Penn State's Yetur Gross-Matos or A.J. Epenesa out of Iowa, depending on who you're asking.

A.J. Epenesa 40 Time

Expected to be drafted in the later part of Round 1, let's take a look at three teams that could target Epenesa.

A.J. Epenesa Draft Projection

3. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle aims to be Super Bowl contenders again in 2020.
Seattle aims to be Super Bowl contenders again in 2020. / Stacy Revere/Getty Images

While the Seahawks definitely need help on the offensive line, addressing their weaknesses on the defensive line might present better value at the No. 27 pick. Seattle could still bring back star EDGE rusher Jadeveon Clowney, but recent reports suggest the odds aren't in their favor on that one. Seattle was No. 24 in the NFL last year in sacks per game (2.1), so they clearly need to upgrade there. Epenesa could come in and start from day one to help fill a void left by Clowney at a much cheaper price.

2. New England Patriots

Bill Belichick will have to prove what he can do without Tom Brady in 2020.
Bill Belichick will have to prove what he can do without Tom Brady in 2020. / Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Similar to Minnesota, New England is in need of finding someone to pressure the quarterback. After losing players like Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton, New England doesn't have too many players left on the roster with a great pass-rushing pedigree. Snagging a hard-working freak athlete like Epenesa with the No. 23 pick could be a great start to replenishing this New England defense as they enter life after Tom Brady for the first time in two decades.

1. Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins and the Vikings will look to build on the success of 2019.
Kirk Cousins and the Vikings will look to build on the success of 2019. / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings have two picks in the range Epenesa is expected to go in, with No. 22 and No. 25. After losing Everson Griffen this offseason, pass rusher all of a sudden has become a need for Minnesota, who also lost a good portion of their secondary. If an NFL team is weak at both pass rusher and cornerback, that's a lethal combo that could lead to teams lighting them up through the air next season. It would not be a surprise to see them address both of those needs with their two first-round picks.


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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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