A lot of mock drafts have Epenesa getting picked up with a late first round pick, but if he falls to the second round, the Lions would be foolish not to pick him up.
Epenesa has the tools of the trade to set a strong EDGE as a part of the Lions defense, as he already possesses an NFL frame that will get bigger over time. The former Iowa Hawkeye also does an excellent job spilling B-gap runs wide, where one of the Lions’ newly acquired outside linebackers can clean up the mess.
While Epenesa may not start right away for the Lions, that defensive line could use all the help it can get putting pressure on the quarterback, as they tied for the second fewest sacks in the league last season.
Much like Chase Claypool who I wrote about last week, the Lions spent a whole week coaching Jackson in the Senior Bowl earlier this year, getting valuable time to work with the versatile offensive lineman.
With Graham Glasgow signing with the Denver Broncos in free agency, the Lions have Joe Dahl starting at one of the guard spots with Kenny Wiggins, Oday Aboushi and Casey Tucker competing for the other slot. Jackson can add some youth and some depth to that unit.
Jackson improved as his senior season went along, and possesses a good width and a consistent ability to laterally slide and not get confused by twists to be a versatile backup lineman who could develop into a starter, much like Glasgow did.