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Is AJ Epenesa Poised for a Breakout Season?



AJ Epenesa, Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills drafted AJ Epenesa in the second round of the 2020 Draft. Since then, he has been disappointing. That is, up until last season. Epenesa stepped up when Von Miller tore his ACL, totaling 6.5 sacks on the season, along with 10 QB hits. So, with Von Miller likely missing the start of the season, is Epenesa poised to have an even better season?

Bills fans wanted them to make a move for a pass rusher this off-season. However, the only addition worth noting was Shane Ray. So, could that mean they have faith in Epenesa to be a consistent pass rusher backing up Greg Rousseau and Miller?

His teammates sure believe in him

“His swagger is totally different. Even when he’s, like, lined up, I can feel his presence now.”

DION DAWKINS on Epenesa LAST SEASON (via Joe Buscaglia/The Athletic)

Von Miller’s presence has given the other pass rushers a boost in production. With Epenesa totaling 6.5 sacks last season, and Rousseau totaling eight. But with Von’s injury, the question still remains if the fourth-year pro will be able to take that final leap to get to where we hoped he would. Without Von to start the season, Epenesa has the perfect opportunity to show the Bills what they saw from him in college.

AJ Epenesa is in a contract year with Buffalo and will look to get paid, whether by the Bills or another team. With a lack of long-term DL depth, it could be worthwhile to give Epenesa another contract, provided he improves from his six sack season.

After a whirlwind start to his career, from his weight fluctuations to finally seeing an uptick in snaps, Epenesa has one last shot to prove to the Bills why he belongs in the red and blue.

“It’s just tough to be able to do your job when your weight fluctuates like that. Especially when you play on the line of scrimmage against the biggest and the strongest guys on the field.”

Eric Washington on Epenesa his rookie year (via Joe Buscaglia/The Athletic)

Featured Image: Getty Images

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