Atlanta Falcons mock draft with a nice surprise in round two
A.J. Epenesa, Pass Rush, Iowa
A.J. is a name that we told you to watch during the bowl game preview we wrote six weeks ago. Unless the Atlanta Falcons trade up in April, this is the safest pick I think there is. To not hear his name called at 16 means one of two things happened – either he was already off the board or Dimitroff blew the first pick.
More than likely Vic Beasley is not coming back in 2020 and this pick will be used to find his replacement. The difference is size as Epenesa is nearly 50 pounds heavier than Beasley and nearly as fast. He will also hold up in the run game as well.
His Draft profile:
"PROS: Features exceptional length and overwhelming power. Hands are heavy and he does well to place and time his moves. It can be devastating bull-rushing off the edge, getting on the same level of the passer, shucking the block and finishing. Pass rush counters developed nicely in 2019, showcasing a variety of hand swipes. His push-pull is deadly. Exceptional ability to convert speed to power and he often plays right through blockers. Generally does well to play with extension and his length enables him to consistently finish outside his frame. Will put considerable stress on his opponent’s anchor to maintain the pocket width. Draws opponents out their sets with his power. Isn’t easily moved off his spot when setting the edge and he can make gaps disappear with his ability to squeeze down. Found impressive production across his last two seasons at Iowa. Has inside/outside rush versatility. CONS: He’s smooth and fluid but he isn’t bursty or bendy. Rush angles must be greased. Won’t be much of an asset playing in space. Needs to recognize reach/hook blocks more consistently to avoid giving up outside leverage. Generally does well but he’ll need to be intentional about keeping his pads low given his height at the next level."