Epenesa Selected by Bills in 2nd Round of NFL Draft

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BRONXVILLE, N.Y — University of Iowa junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of Thursday’s NFL Draft. He was the 54th player picked overall and the 22nd selection of the second round.
The defensive MVP of the 2019 Holiday Bowl, Epenesa was named second-team All-America by Walter Camp and first-team All-Big Ten by league coaches and media.

2020 NFL Draft logo

With the 6-foot-6, 280-pound Epenesa on the defensive line last season, the Hawkeyes won 10 games and limited opponents to 308.2 yards (196 passing, 113 rushing) and 14 points per game. In 13 games, Epenesa compiled 49 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, nine quarterback hurries, and four forced fumbles.

“I like his position versatilty,” said Booger McFarland, ESPN analyst. “He can come inside to defnsive tackle and also play over the tight end. This is a good, solid pick. He will play 10 years and will be a productive defensive lineman.”
Iowa has had 13 defensive linemen selected in the NFL Draft during the Kirk Ferentz era; four, including Epenesa, Adrian Clayborn, Kenny Iwebema, and Matt Roth, were selected as defensive ends.

“He has strong hands and brings that edge and inside pressure,” said Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN analyst. “He can drive an offensive tackle into the quarterback. He did a great job against (Southern California offensive tackle) Austin Jackson, who went in the first round to the Miami Dolphins. He dominated against Minnesota. Overall, you talk about versatility, he can be a factor. The Bills are building up that defensive front.”

Buffalo finished runner-up in the AFC East last season with a 10-6 record. The Bills lost to Houston in an AFC Wild Card game, 22-19.
Buffalo was third out of 32 NFL teams in total defense, allowing 298.2 yards per game. They were fourth in pass defense (195.2 yards per game) and 10th in run defense (103.1).
Epenesa joins three other Hawkeyes who are on Buffalo’s active roster: guard Ike Boettger, wide receiver Nick Easley, and strong safety Micah Hyde. 
Iowa has had at least one player drafted in every NFL Draft since 1978, including 10 first round selections. Epenesa is the 72nd player coached by Ferentz at Iowa to be selected in the NFL Draft.
Entering the 2020 draft, Iowa has 17 consecutive draft choices remaining in the NFL, second only to Michigan’s 19.
To read the University of Iowa’s NFL Draft Central Page, click HERE.

2020 NFL Draft
Round 1 Tristan Wirfs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Tackle
Round 2 A.J. Epenesa Buffalo Bills Defensive End
2019 NFL Draft
Round 1 T.J. Hockenson Detroit Lions Tight End
Round 1 Noah Fant Denver Broncos Tight End
Round 4 Anthony Nelson Tampa Bay Buccanners Defensive End
Round 4 Amani Hooker Tennessee Titans Defensive Back
2018 NFL Draft
Round 2 James Daniels Chicago Bears Offensive Line
Round 2 Josh Jackson Green Bay Packers Defensive Back
Round 4 Josey Jewell Denver Broncos Linebacker
2017 NFL Draft
Round 3 C.J. Beathard San Francisco 49ers Quarterback
Round 4 Jaleel Johnson Minnesota Vikings Defensive Line
Round 5 George Kittle San Francisco 49ers Tight End
Round 5 Desmond King Los Angeles Chargers Defensive Back
2016 NFL Draft
Round 7 Austin Blythe Indianapolis Colts Offensive Line
2015 NFL Draft
Round 1 Brandon Scherff Washington Redskins Offensive Line
Round 3 Carl Davis Baltimore Ravens Defensive Line
Round 4 Andrew Donnal St. Louis Rams Offensive Line
2014 NFL Draft
Round 3 C.J. Fiedorowicz Houston Texans Tight End
Round 3 Christian Kirksey Cleveland Browns Linebacker
Round 4 Anthony Hitchens Dallas Cowboys Linebacker
2013 NFL Draft
Round 5 Micah Hyde Green Bay Packers Cornerback
2012 NFL Draft
Round 1 Riley Reiff Detroit Offensive Line
Round 4 Mike Daniels Green Bay Defensive Line
Round 5 Adam Gettis Washington Offensive Line
Round 5 Shaun Prater Cincinnati Defensive back
Round 6 Marvin McNutt Philadelphia Wide receiver
Round 7 Jordan Bernstine Washington Defensive back
2011 NFL Draft
Round 1 Adrian Clayborn Tampa Bay Defensive end
Round 4 Christian Ballard Minnesota Defensive Line
Round 5 Ricky Stanzi Kansas City Quarterback
Round 5 Karl Klug Tennessee Defensive Line
Round 5 Julian Vandervelde Philadelphia Offensive Line
Round 6 Tyler Sash New York Giants Defensive back
2010 NFL Draft
Round 1 Bryan Bulaga Green Bay Offensive Line
Round 2 Pat Angerer Indianapolis Linebacker
Round 3 Amari Spievey Detroit Defensive back
Round 3 Tony Moeaki Kansas City Tight end
Round 4 A.J. Edds Miami Linebacker
Round 7 Kyle Calloway Buffalo Offensive Line
2009 NFL Draft
Round 3 Shonn Greene New York Jets Running back
Round 3 Bradley Fletcher St. Louis Defensive back
Round 4 Seth Olsen Denver Offensive Line
Round 6 Brandon Myers Oakland Tight end
2008 NFL Draft
Round 3 Charles Godfrey Carolina Defensive back
Round 4 Kenny Iwebema Arizona Defensive end
Round 6 Mike Humpal Pittsburgh Linebacker
2007 NFL Draft
Round 3 Marshal Yanda Baltimore Offensive Line
Round 4 Scott Chandler San Diego Tight end
Round 7 Mike Elgin New England Offensive Line
2006 NFL Draft
Round 1 Chad Greenway Minnesota Linebacker
Round 3 Abdul Hodge Green Bay Linebacker
2005 NFL Draft
Round 2 Matt Roth Miami Defensive end
Round 2 Jonathan Babineaux Atlanta Defensive Line
Round 4 Sean Considine Philadelphia Defensive Back
Round 6 Tony Jackson Seattle Tight end
Round 6 Pete McMahon Oakland Offensive Line
2004 NFL Draft
Round 1 Robert Gallery Oakland Offensive Line
Round 2 Bob Sanders Indianapolis Defensive Back
Round 3 Nate Kaeding San Diego Place kicker
Round 7 Jared Clauss Tennessee Defensive Line
Round 7 Erik Jensen St. Louis Tight end
2003 NFL Draft
Round 1 Dallas Clark Indianapolis Tight end
Round 2 Eric Steinbach Cincinnati Offensive Line
Round 2 Bruce Nelson Carolina Center
Round 5 Derek Pagel New York Jets Defensive Back
Round 5 Ben Sobieski Buffalo Offensive Line
2002 NFL Draft
Round 2 Ladell Betts Washington Running Back
Round 5 Aaron Kampman Green Bay Defensive Line
Round 6 Kahlil Hill Atlanta Wide receiver
2001 NFL Draft
Round 6 Kevin Kasper Denver Wide receiver
2000 NFL Draft
Round 5 Austin Wheatley New Orleans Tight end
Round 6 Matt Bowen St. Louis Defensive Back