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Iowa Football’s AJ Epenesa Declares for NFL Draft

It was only a matter of time

NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Southern California vs Iowa Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a matter time. But now it’s official. All-world defensive end AJ Epenesa has declared for the NFL draft.

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Thank you Hawkeye Nation!

A post shared by AJ Epenesa (@supersamoan94) on

Epenesa is projected as a fringe top-10 prospect by lot of places, and by any measure he’s at the least a top-10 talent.

AJE finishes his Iowa career with 26.5 sacks, 36.5 tackles for a loss and a truly incredible 8 forced fumbles. Keep in mind those numbers include just one season where AJE was a full-time starter.

After watching Epenesa down the stretch this year, and after watching just about every defensive line rotate linemen and edge rushers all around the box in these NFL playoffs, I’m pretty convinced that Epenesa is one of the most valuable players in this draft. His speed, size and versatility give him room to play three positions, and he’s coming from an NFL-caliber strength program already. He’s going to make a GM look very, very smart very soon.

Obviously, part of me is disappointed we won’t get another year of AJE in the Black and Gold. And I’m even a little depressed in thinking we might never see such a dominant player suit up for Iowa.

But in times like these, I’m reminded: don’t be sad that it’s over. Be glad it happened.

Best of luck to AJ Epenesa. Go get paid. And let’s go Hawks.