After an impressive year in 2019, the Buffalo Bills are poised to take another big step in 2020. With Tom Brady leaving New England for Tampa Bay, the Bills will have a shot at winning the division for the first time in a while. And in doing so, some youngsters will have to step up in a big way.
Last season, veteran defensive end Trent Murphy was solid if unspectacular. He finished with five sacks, 36 total tackles, and a PFF grade of 74.2. The Bills went out this offseason and addressed the defensive end position, signing Mario Addison and drafting stud pass rusher A.J. Epenesa. Their depth on the defensive line is spectacular. Murphy will have a ton of pressure on him early on in order to keep the starting job, but we think Epenesa will overtake him.
The Bills got an absolute steal in Epenesa in the second round. In many early mock drafts, scouts had Epenesa going as a the top 10 pick. Epenesa's stock dropped significantly after a mediocre NFL Combine. However, the fact that the Bills were able to pick him up in the second round is surprising to say the least. Sean McDermott has said he sees Epenesa beginning the season as a backup, but he will have the chance to prove himself as a starter.
Epenesa offers so much more athletically than Murphy, which is becoming more and more important each year in the NFL. That's why we see Epenesa overtaking Murphy for that starting role this season.