The criticism of A.J. Epenesa has been constant, and if you saw him work out at the combine, you can see why. Sure, he racked up 101 total tackles and 26.5 sacks in 37 career games so we know there’s some ability, but if this guy’s in everyone’s top five pass rushers, we could argue that this isn’t one of the draft’s strongest classes of defensive ends.
That may sound harsh, but it’s time that we all be honest.
Again, if we’re seeing K’Lavon Chaisson as an outside guy in the 3-4 scheme or, for the sake of this argument, a defensive end in the 4-3 defensive scheme, he’s probably the second-best defensive end in this class, right behind Chase Young.
If we’re going to place someone at the top of this list, it needs to be Yetur Gross-Matos of the Penn State Nittany Lions. He’ll be drafted after Young and Chaisson, and if you’re a numbers guy or gal, you’re going to like his.
In 2019, he racked up 40 total tackles and nine sacks in 11 games, giving him 111 total tackles, 18.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in 34 career games. It’s doubtful that he becomes an Eagle, but if Philly has taught us anything in previous drafts, it’s this. Nothing is impossible.