Epenesa...

sergeanthulka

Is Frequently Requested at Local Karaoke Nights
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,991
Reaction score
-5,595
Kind of want to talk about how the early entry/draft landscape may or may not have changed for AJ based upon what has transpired this year.

He's been underwhelming. Don't get me wrong, he's been very solid on a very good defense...but he hasn't been dominant. As a result, is it fair to say his draft stock has dropped from top 10 to more along the lines of top 30? I'm still seeing him listed in the top 15, but my guess is that he's going to drop a bit, due to his lack of impact plays. Now, in our 2-gap scheme, AJ doesn't get to make undisciplined attacks often. On 1st & 2nd down, he's got to play the run first almost all the time...this also changes his stats, ability to make highlight plays, etc. NFL people will adjust their draft rankings to account for the scheme he plays in. So that will work back in his favor.

Saw a stat this morning that showed Joey Bosa was a late first round draft pick 2 years ago & decided to come back & was able to parlay that into being the #4 overall pick. Wondering aloud if AJ won't be tempted to go a similar route?

We shall see. Maybe I'm choosing hope over reality...but I think AJ comes back next year...

Incidentally, I'd say almost the same things about Wirfs and Jackson, but I think they're more likely to leave (irrespective of draft stock) for some reason...
 
Last edited:

Bob

Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Messages
6,031
Reaction score
-5,715
He hasn't been underwhelming. He's blowing up the pocket consistently and has good pressure numbers, he's just been unlucky with sacks, which aren't necessarily the best way to gauge a DL's impact anyway. He draws a ton of extra attention and teams already scheme to get the ball out quickly against us to throw under the zone, and that's been even more extreme with him coming off the edge. It's not a coincidence that this has been one of our best defensive teams under Phil so far despite a ton of injuries and uncertainty in the back 7.

He's still going to show up well on tape and test great and he is still pretty high in most mock drafts. I don't think there's any chance he comes back and I would guess Kirk is going to advise him to go.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
4,439
Reaction score
-330
What would change with the defensive approach that would free him up to make those "highlight plays" if he came back next year? If you subscribe to the thought that the scheme is requiring him to play the role he's played then I don't see that changing in such a way that his draft stock dramatically improves.
 

sergeanthulka

Is Frequently Requested at Local Karaoke Nights
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,991
Reaction score
-5,595
What would change with the defensive approach that would free him up to make those "highlight plays" if he came back next year? If you subscribe to the thought that the scheme is requiring him to play the role he's played then I don't see that changing in such a way that his draft stock dramatically improves.
Admittedly, nothing.
 

douglasbader

Thinks Joe W Has Access To The YMCA
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
90,950
Reaction score
-65,381
I don't think his stock has dropped at all and don't think he has been underwhelming. Some things clouding that is Chase Young having a Heisman level season, but he is surrounded by far more talent and a different scheme that allows him to let lose on every single down. If AJ was playing for Ohio State this year he would look similar.

With that said, if there was ever a player that would actually come back for his senior year even when he shouldn't, it would be him. He loves Iowa and obviously his family is the sort that would be more than good with him coming back.
 

Stu Beagle

Has Tiny Onions
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
5,427
Reaction score
-6,208
Why would he come back?

One reason Clayborn returned was that we returned a ton of talent and were expecting to compete for a conference title. That aint happening next year
 

6deuce

6douche
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
9,354
Reaction score
-11,084
*Espinosa
It is crazy how often he has been referred as such. How the fuck does that happen so regularly. Seems like it's been damn near every game.
 

Thomas Wolsey

Likes Your Post
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
6,993
Reaction score
-6,710
Why would he come back?

One reason Clayborn returned was that we returned a ton of talent and were expecting to compete for a conference title. That aint happening next year
This team has good young players, but he should go.
 

douglasbader

Thinks Joe W Has Access To The YMCA
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
90,950
Reaction score
-65,381
Why would he come back?

One reason Clayborn returned was that we returned a ton of talent and were expecting to compete for a conference title. That aint happening next year
I wouldn't immediately close the door on that next year. If he came back, the defense next year is likely as good or better than it is now. The offense obviously has a new QB but that might not be as Bovert points out the worst thing. All the WR and RB are back. LaPorta looks like a stud. The line is a question mark but could solid.

Now, if all 3 of the early entry guys came back? Then you really would have a good team.
 

Bob

Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Messages
6,031
Reaction score
-5,715
I don't think his stock has dropped at all and don't think he has been underwhelming. Some things clouding that is Chase Young having a Heisman level season, but he is surrounded by far more talent and a different scheme that allows him to let lose on every single down. If AJ was playing for Ohio State this year he would look similar.

With that said, if there was ever a player that would actually come back for his senior year even when he shouldn't, it would be him. He loves Iowa and obviously his family is the sort that would be more than good with him coming back.
Young was already ahead of him on a lot of mocks so I don't know how much that even changes anyway. I think Young is clearly better than him but he's also having one of the best DE season ever so that's not really much of a knock. AJ should be right up there with every other end in next year's draft and go high in the first.
 

sergeanthulka

Is Frequently Requested at Local Karaoke Nights
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,991
Reaction score
-5,595
One thing that could also improve AJ's thoughts of coming back is the defense would be retarded good with him back next year...

Having Davyon Nixon emerge as an impact player, along with Gholston (and several others) could really improve how teams can currently scheme against him. Even without Stone, the defense could be incredible next year.
 

nolookpass

Feels the Bern
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
70,860
Reaction score
-66,003
Stone is an nfl player but safeties don't seem to go high. He'd be foolish to come back, given his proclivity for big hits and risk of injury
 

sergeanthulka

Is Frequently Requested at Local Karaoke Nights
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,991
Reaction score
-5,595
Stone is a great college player. I wonder a little if he is fast enough to get a high draft grade...
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
2,564
Reaction score
-1,535
*Espinosa
It is crazy how often he has been referred as such. How the fuck does that happen so regularly. Seems like it's been damn near every game.
This week there was a graphic listing "impact players" for which Iowa had a total of 1. Couldn't even learn this one fact in the several days on campus getting ready to announce the game?
 

Mo T

Carnie Profiler
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
37,717
Reaction score
-10,403
The best part was the awkward pause after "AJ" when he couldn't remember his last name. Instead of leaving it as AJ and completing the sentence he says Espinosa. I think he also called Tracy "Stacy" at one point.
 

douglasbader

Thinks Joe W Has Access To The YMCA
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
90,950
Reaction score
-65,381
I want to see how the defense holds up the last 4 games, but if Epenesa and Stone are back is it maybe the best defense in the Ferentz era?

Golston and Epenesa at DE. Nixon at DT. Lots of young talent and solid players on the line that are getting better. Evans looks interesting. Waggonner is getting better.

LB's will be damn good. Niemann, Colbert, Campbell and hopefully Jacobs and others.

DB's have everyone back but Ojemudia.
 

sergeanthulka

Is Frequently Requested at Local Karaoke Nights
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,991
Reaction score
-5,595
I want to see how the defense holds up the last 4 games, but if Epenesa and Stone are back is it maybe the best defense in the Ferentz era?

Golston and Epenesa at DE. Nixon at DT. Lots of young talent and solid players on the line that are getting better. Evans looks interesting. Waggonner is getting better.

LB's will be damn good. Niemann, Colbert, Campbell and hopefully Jacobs and others.

DB's have everyone back but Ojemudia.
That would be a better defense because the staff has learned to rotate players. The Ballard, Clayborn, Hyde, Angerer group was better...but by the 4th quarter they had no gas left in the tank.

Oh, and I'm glad you elected to stay off of nlp's radar by not mentioning Dillon Doyle in the LB crew.
 

L. Wade Childress

Is Texting Right Now
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
52,919
Reaction score
-19,099
Stone is an nfl player but safeties don't seem to go high. He'd be foolish to come back, given his proclivity for big hits and risk of injury
I don’t know if he is big enough to get drafted. Hooker was a freak and went in the middle rounds.
 

nolookpass

Feels the Bern
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
70,860
Reaction score
-66,003
I want to see how the defense holds up the last 4 games, but if Epenesa and Stone are back is it maybe the best defense in the Ferentz era?

Golston and Epenesa at DE. Nixon at DT. Lots of young talent and solid players on the line that are getting better. Evans looks interesting. Waggonner is getting better.

LB's will be damn good. Niemann, Colbert, Campbell and hopefully Jacobs and others.

DB's have everyone back but Ojemudia.
That would be a better defense because the staff has learned to rotate players. The Ballard, Clayborn, Hyde, Angerer group was better...but by the 4th quarter they had no gas left in the tank.

Oh, and I'm glad you elected to stay off of nlp's radar by not mentioning Dillon Doyle in the LB crew.
been to chat? I'm not in the top 2 or 3 when it comes to criticizing his play.
 

HawkLax6

Thinks the 2 Deeps Matter
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
27,798
Reaction score
-14,438
PFF has A.J. Epenesa tied with Chase Young for the second most QB pressures (sacks, QB hits or hurries) in the Big Ten this year despite far fewer sacks.
 

sergeanthulka

Is Frequently Requested at Local Karaoke Nights
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,991
Reaction score
-5,595
I want to see how the defense holds up the last 4 games, but if Epenesa and Stone are back is it maybe the best defense in the Ferentz era?

Golston and Epenesa at DE. Nixon at DT. Lots of young talent and solid players on the line that are getting better. Evans looks interesting. Waggonner is getting better.

LB's will be damn good. Niemann, Colbert, Campbell and hopefully Jacobs and others.

DB's have everyone back but Ojemudia.
That would be a better defense because the staff has learned to rotate players. The Ballard, Clayborn, Hyde, Angerer group was better...but by the 4th quarter they had no gas left in the tank.

Oh, and I'm glad you elected to stay off of nlp's radar by not mentioning Dillon Doyle in the LB crew.
been to chat? I'm not in the top 2 or 3 when it comes to criticizing his play.
I don't mind you being critical of his play. That's warranted. I'm talking more about you getting triggered because of his dad. I know that's a hot button issue for you.
 

nolookpass

Feels the Bern
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
70,860
Reaction score
-66,003
That would be a better defense because the staff has learned to rotate players. The Ballard, Clayborn, Hyde, Angerer group was better...but by the 4th quarter they had no gas left in the tank.

Oh, and I'm glad you elected to stay off of nlp's radar by not mentioning Dillon Doyle in the LB crew.
been to chat? I'm not in the top 2 or 3 when it comes to criticizing his play.
I don't mind you being critical of his play. That's warranted. I'm talking more about you getting triggered because of his dad. I know that's a hot button issue for you.
I wont be triggered unless he relegates Campbell to not seeing the field.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
4,255
Reaction score
-4,629
I would imagine Wirfs and Jackson are more likely to come back than Epenesa. AJ doesn't have the stats but has still played well. OL guys have struggled at times, though not as much as the interior linemen.
 

kmurp

Can't get Jak out
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,309
Reaction score
-445
PFF has A.J. Epenesa tied with Chase Young for the second most QB pressures (sacks, QB hits or hurries) in the Big Ten this year despite far fewer sacks.
Watching both AJ doesn’t seem nearly as agile/quick as Young.
 

sergeanthulka

Is Frequently Requested at Local Karaoke Nights
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,991
Reaction score
-5,595
PFF has A.J. Epenesa tied with Chase Young for the second most QB pressures (sacks, QB hits or hurries) in the Big Ten this year despite far fewer sacks.
Watching both AJ doesn’t seem nearly as agile/quick as Young.
Yeah, completely different type of player. Young probably wouldn't be a good fit in a 2-gap scheme where he has to engage & play off of blocks 80% of the time...
 

rodg12

Might not need to GFH
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
1,029
Reaction score
-941
I would imagine Wirfs and Jackson are more likely to come back than Epenesa. AJ doesn't have the stats but has still played well. OL guys have struggled at times, though not as much as the interior linemen.
Jackson, yes. Wirfs...no. Wirfs is now solidly vying for top OT in the draft. He gone.

AJ has slipped from preseason prognostications. He's no longer a top 10 guy. Still in first round, but has slipped.
 

Wayne Rogers

Has Bad Ideas
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
1,142
Reaction score
-3,200

douglasbader

Thinks Joe W Has Access To The YMCA
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
90,950
Reaction score
-65,381
There is a lot of season left. At this point in the season last year pretty much nobody thought Hockenson would leave early and certainly wouldn't be a Top 10 pick.

The 1st round in October compared to the 1st round in April will look completely different.
 

douglasbader

Thinks Joe W Has Access To The YMCA
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
90,950
Reaction score
-65,381
2 months ago was Joe Burrow even projected to be a better than mid-round pick? Now after 8 games he is the consensus #1 QB and Top 5 pick.
 

eclone

Former VEISHEA Exec Committee Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
10,427
Reaction score
-10,156
Kiper had AJ as his #8 overall pick for the first 4 or 5 games, but doesn't have him in his top 25 now. Kiper now has him as the #3 DE.

1. *Chase Young, Ohio State
2. *Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
3. *A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
4. Carlos "Boogie" Basham, Wake Forest
5. *James Lynch, Baylor
6. D.J. Wonnum, South Carolina
7. Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame
8. Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina
9. Jabari Zuniga, Florida
10. Marlon Davidson, Auburn
So not even first team All Big 10? He might as well come back to school.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
1,250
Reaction score
-1,607
Kiper had AJ as his #8 overall pick for the first 4 or 5 games, but doesn't have him in his top 25 now. Kiper now has him as the #3 DE.

1. *Chase Young, Ohio State
2. *Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
3. *A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
4. Carlos "Boogie" Basham, Wake Forest
5. *James Lynch, Baylor
6. D.J. Wonnum, South Carolina
7. Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame
8. Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina
9. Jabari Zuniga, Florida
10. Marlon Davidson, Auburn
So not even first team All Big 10? He might as well come back to school.
He’ll more than likely get drafted against his will, so it’s a mute point
 

Kerky

Does Not Return His Shopping Cart
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
12,212
Reaction score
-3,983
Kiper had AJ as his #8 overall pick for the first 4 or 5 games, but doesn't have him in his top 25 now. Kiper now has him as the #3 DE.

1. *Chase Young, Ohio State
2. *Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
3. *A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
4. Carlos "Boogie" Basham, Wake Forest
5. *James Lynch, Baylor
6. D.J. Wonnum, South Carolina
7. Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame
8. Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina
9. Jabari Zuniga, Florida
10. Marlon Davidson, Auburn
So not even first team All Big 10? He might as well come back to school.
He’ll more than likely get drafted against his will, so it’s a mute point
 
Top