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Cover1 Breakdown of AJ Epenesa


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One of the biggest takeaways I got from that video is how raw Epenesa still is as a player.   

 

When I watched several of his games, I was surprised at how he seemed to struggle a bit with his vision and recognition on running plays.     Sometimes the runner would go right by him, or he would be late in filling a gap that could have taken the runner down.  It wasn't because he was out of position--it just seem like he didn't process the play quickly.   

 

What this video told me--which I hadn't realized--is just how inexperienced he really is.   Just 13 games as a starter, with his primary emphasis on pass rush, rather than being a 3-down player.    As a result, there's still a lot for him to still learn.   But importantly, he has the tools to round out his game and become more complete.   

 

He's in the perfect place to continue learning his craft and be mentored by some real pros, pros who will teach him how to play the game.    This should be exciting... 

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10 minutes ago, Lurker said:

One of the biggest takeaways I got from that video is how raw Epenesa still is as a player.   

 

When I watched several of his games, I was surprised at how he seemed to struggle a bit with his vision and recognition on running plays.     Sometimes the runner would go right by him, or he would be late in filling a gap that could have taken the runner down.  It wasn't because he was out of position--it just seem like he didn't process the play quickly.   

 

What this video told me--which I hadn't realized--is just how inexperienced he really is.   Just 13 games as a starter, with his primary emphasis on pass rush, rather than being a 3-down player.    As a result, there's still a lot for him to still learn.   But importantly, he has the tools to round out his game and become more complete.   

 

He's in the perfect place to continue learning his craft and be mentored by some real pros, pros who will teach him how to play the game.    This should be exciting... 

 

Interesting.  I did not get "raw."  I thought refined which is pretty much the opposite.  Maybe raw in the run game but with refined pass rush skills?   Anyways, the best analogy I can think of is Greg Maddux (holy crap he's 54 now--man I'm getting old.)  His 355 career wins and 3300+ strikeouts came without having a power arm.  But he had outstanding control, pitched with a plan for every batter he faced and had a variety of great pitches at his disposal.  Just not a plus fastball.  I sort of thought of AJ that way after watching this video.  Lacking an elite fastball he has a repertoire of pass rush moves, especially with his hands, to execute a plan.  He is raw as in he has much to learn and develop, possibly with his eyes as you say, but it seems like he has some refined skills as well that help him create impact plays.  

 

I was dreading the Chris Kelsay analogy I'd been hearing.  Great, all we need is the next whipping boy of Bills Fandom for whenever Trent Murphy leaves.  This video made me think he could be much more.

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1 minute ago, JESSEFEFFER said:

 

Interesting.  I did not get "raw."  I thought refined which is pretty much the opposite.  Maybe raw in the run game but with refined pass rush skills?   Anyways, the best analogy I can think of is Greg Maddux (holy crap he's 54 now--man I'm getting old.)  His 355 career wins and 3300+ strikeouts came without having a power arm.  But he had outstanding control, pitched with a plan for every batter he faced and had a variety of great pitches at his disposal.  Just not a plus fastball.  I sort of thought of AJ that way after watching this video.  Lacking an elite fastball he has a repertoire of pass rush moves, especially with his hands, to execute a plan.  He is raw as in he has much to learn and develop, possibly with his eyes as you say, but it seems like he has some refined skills as well that help him create impact plays.  

 

I was dreading the Chris Kelsay analogy I'd been hearing.  Great, all we need is the next whipping boy of Bills Fandom for whenever Trent Murphy leaves.  This video made me think he could be much more.

 

The Cover 1 video was great, but to be honest, it just included "wins" and not the full picture of Epenesa's game.   

 

I watched several complete Iowa games on Youtube, particulary of the grudge match, strong competition and bowl game variety, which is how I like to get the measure of a prospect.   Not every play is a "win" and I learn just as much -- sometimes more -- watching where he didn't make a highlight (or even effective) play.   It's the best way to see the pros and the cons of a player's game, in my estimation.

 

IMO, Epenesa is a very raw -- but moldable -- player who still has a ton to learn.   But also a guy who can grow to be a better version of Lawson in a year or two.   That might seem like a low ceiling, but a consistent 6.5-7 sack guy who can also set the edge and play the run well in a rotational role is a very valuable player...

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The guy has serious power and already knows how to use it.  Get that kid in the high tech weight room and he is going to be hard to move and will create serious pressure on the QB. He has much to learn, but will have lots of opportunity to do so with a great veteran room. I think he is going to be a huge edition to our defense as he develops. 

 

. I had no idea there was a Carioca pass rush!

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I can't wait to see Epenesa line up next to Ed Oliver and watch them run stunts.  I wouldn't want to be the linemen opposite that pair.  It's going to be nasty!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Inigo Montoya said:

I can't wait to see Epenesa lining up next to Ed Oliver and watch them run stunts off each other.  I wouldn't want to be the linemen opposite that pair.  It's going to be nasty!

 

If I'm not mistaken, Epenesa is heavier and taller than Oliver.  Usually D tackles are the biggest players on defense.  Epenesa's size might help with run defense if there's a strong push against Oliver.

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1 hour ago, Utah John said:

If I'm not mistaken, Epenesa is heavier and taller than Oliver.  Usually D tackles are the biggest players on defense.  Epenesa's size might help with run defense if there's a strong push against Oliver.


Epenesa is listed at 275 and Oliver is around 290. Epenesa actually had the highest body fat % of any DE at the combine so it will be interesting to see what the plan is at the gym for him. 

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When we drafted this kid I didn’t care. 
 

Normally on draft day I’m sweating bullets because the Bills aren’t trustworthy and they do stupid things. 
 

I saw we drafted a DE with a ridiculously slow 40 and didn’t care. 
 

I didn’t care because I trust McBeane. It’s just nice to be able to trust the Bills. 
 

i think the kid will be good after watching him on YouTube but I don’t trust the pick because of his highlights, I trust the pick because McBeane made it so it’s good enough for me. 

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32 minutes ago, Dragoon said:

When we drafted this kid I didn’t care. 
 

Normally on draft day I’m sweating bullets because the Bills aren’t trustworthy and they do stupid things. 
 

I saw we drafted a DE with a ridiculously slow 40 and didn’t care. 
 

I didn’t care because I trust McBeane. It’s just nice to be able to trust the Bills. 
 

i think the kid will be good after watching him on YouTube but I don’t trust the pick because of his highlights, I trust the pick because McBeane made it so it’s good enough for me. 


Ha! Yeah in texts I had with my football buddies during the draft I said it is a lot less stressful since they don’t have a first round pick to screw up!

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5 hours ago, JESSEFEFFER said:

 

Interesting.  I did not get "raw."  I thought refined which is pretty much the opposite.  Maybe raw in the run game but with refined pass rush skills?   Anyways, the best analogy I can think of is Greg Maddux (holy crap he's 54 now--man I'm getting old.)  His 355 career wins and 3300+ strikeouts came without having a power arm.  But he had outstanding control, pitched with a plan for every batter he faced and had a variety of great pitches at his disposal.  Just not a plus fastball.  I sort of thought of AJ that way after watching this video.  Lacking an elite fastball he has a repertoire of pass rush moves, especially with his hands, to execute a plan.  He is raw as in he has much to learn and develop, possibly with his eyes as you say, but it seems like he has some refined skills as well that help him create impact plays.  

 

I was dreading the Chris Kelsay analogy I'd been hearing.  Great, all we need is the next whipping boy of Bills Fandom for whenever Trent Murphy leaves.  This video made me think he could be much more.


Kelsay is a bad comp imo. Played with no power.  AJE looks like hes all power. 

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1 hour ago, CapeBreton said:


Epenesa is listed at 275 and Oliver is around 290. Epenesa actually had the highest body fat % of any DE at the combine so it will be interesting to see what the plan is at the gym for him. 


I’m thinking he’ll end up at 270–eventually. He probably has to get to 260-265 first to lean out a bit and then take the long road back up to 270. Doing so over the course of 6-12 months he could hit target weight at ~17%.

 

Of course, I have no idea what he played at during the season. For a guy whose game operates on power, it’s not a bad thing to have that extra bulk since so much of it will shed during the season.

 

Speaking from personal experience, I know going into lifting competitions that an extra percentage point or two in BF can really make a difference in “game day strength”. I would imagine that some of the same dynamic is in play for DL guys too.

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15 minutes ago, thebandit27 said:


I’m thinking he’ll end up at 270–eventually. He probably has to get to 260-265 first to lean out a bit and then take the long road back up to 270. Doing so over the course of 6-12 months he could hit target weight at ~17%.

 

Of course, I have no idea what he played at during the season. For a guy whose game operates on power, it’s not a bad thing to have that extra bulk since so much of it will shed during the season.

 

Speaking from personal experience, I know going into lifting competitions that an extra percentage point or two in BF can really make a difference in “game day strength”. I would imagine that some of the same dynamic is in play for DL guys too.

 

Yeah - i think when you look at running/agility though you wonder if that extra affected those #s.  Maybe try and find some balance.

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2 hours ago, JaCrispy said:

I love the violence Epenesa plays with...he reminds me of the type of player the Ravens or Steelers usually have...

Yeah, this felt like a very Ravens-type pick to me - in a good way, obviously, since the Ravens have drafted so well. They always seem to pick up the sliding guy - the one who can just play football. They are super confident in what they see on film and don't out-think themselves with caveats and projections and imaginary what-ifs, which a lot of teams seem to do. Glad the Bills under Beane seem similar.

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47 minutes ago, Over 29 years of fanhood said:


Kelsay is a bad comp imo. Played with no power.  AJE looks like hes all power. 

A B-News article compared him to Phil Hansen.  I think that's a good one.  In his prime, Hansen averaged about 7-8 sacks/year at LDE and known for his toughness.  I'll take it.

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