Payne: Texans Should Draft Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa At No. 40

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(SportsRadio 610) -- With the 40th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Texans have to be thinking about defense. 

It's been fun to discuss the possibility of them taking a running back or wide receiver with their first pick of the draft, but they've already invested so much into the offensive side of the ball this offseason.

Trading DeAndre Hopkins for running back David Johnson, signing free agent wide receiver Randall Cobb and later trading for receiver Brandin Cooks were all aggressive moves to address the offense.

In the draft, however, it'd be nice if they can pick up an impact player on defense.

Former Texans defensive lineman Seth Payne wants Iowa's A.J. Epenesa to fall to the Texans at No. 40.

"This guy is old school, 3-4 defensive end," Payne said. "He's got man's strength. His strength is better than the combine numbers will show and I think he's a better athlete than the combine numbers show. But he just flat out is a football player. He makes plays. He understands the angles. He uses his hands well. 

"I think Anthony Weaver -- the new defensive coordinator, former defensive lineman in the NFL -- will really appreciate the way this guy plays and he can offer some pass rush as well."

At 6 feet, 5 inches and 275 pounds, was twice named to first-team All-Big Ten, recording double digit sacks in each of the past two seasons (10.5 as a sophomore in 2018; 11.5 as a junior in 2019).

Epenesa could be gone when the Texans pick at No. 40, but Mel Kiper Jr. had him slipping to the Texans in a recent mock draft. 

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