Minnesota Vikings 2020 NFL Draft profile: A.J Epenesa – DE

(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) A.J. Epenesa
(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) A.J. Epenesa /
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(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) A.J. Epenesa
(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) A.J. Epenesa /

Where he fits with the Minnesota Vikings:

A.J. Epenesa would be a tremendous fit for the Minnesota Vikings. He has all the traits that you normally associate with someone in Mike Zimmer’s defense.

There is little doubt Zimmer is impressed by what he has seen from Epenesa during his college career at Iowa and during the evaluation process. It would be no surprise to see the Vikings take him with one of their two first-round selections next month.

Minnesota lost Everson Griffen after failing to negotiate terms with the locker room leader when he opted out of his deal. These are big shoes to fill, but someone like Epenesa certainly has the potential to pick up some of the load right away.

Epenesa possesses the sort of power that can easily translate to the NFL. Coming up against bigger and more experienced lineman should not be a problem for him and he has the engine to be a three-down defensive end if needed.

That might not be something the Vikings necessarily need right away. Danielle Hunter is one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL and Ifeadi Odenigbo is expected to be given a more prominent role after impressing considerably in 2019.

Adding Epenesa into the fold would only be a good thing for Minnesota’s defense. The team does need significant reinforcements in their secondary and this might be the primary focus for the Vikings with their first-round picks.

If they wait until their second-round selection in the hope of drafting Epenesa, they are going to likely be out of luck. There is no such thing as a sure-fire prospect these days, but the young pass rusher boasts some formidable weapons that are sure to be a big hit in the pros.

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The Vikings definitely need help in this area of the field. Whether they are willing to use a first-rounder on one when there are more pressing needs elsewhere remains to be seen.