In this Oct. 5, 2019, file photo, Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa (94) plays against Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich. Patrick Queen of LSU and Epenesa are potential picks by the Baltimore Ravens if GM Eric DeCosta chooses to address the linebacker position early in the draft.
In this Oct. 5, 2019, file photo, Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa (94) plays against Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich. Patrick Queen of LSU and Epenesa are potential picks by the Baltimore Ravens if GM Eric DeCosta chooses to address the linebacker position early in the draft. |Paul Sancya | Associated Press
NFL

NFL Draft: Eckel, with an NFL exec, breaks down the top 10 interior defensive linemen available — including Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa

If NFL teams wait, they might find good value in rounds three and four.

Mark Eckel

Teams looking for help on the interior of the defensive line aren’t going to find many top-tier players in the 2020 NFL Draft, that begins Thursday night.

If they wait, they might find good value in rounds three and four, however.

“There are a lot of guys out there,’’ an executive in personnel who has helped with this series said. “I don’t see a lot of stars, but you can get some guys late who can play. The trouble with this class is there are not a lot of pass rushers, instead you see a lot of two-down, or even one-down run stoppers.’’

Here’s his list of the top 10 interior defensive linemen.

Derrick Brown, Auburn

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 6-4, 326

40 Time: 5.16

Stats: 4 sacks, 12 TFL

Quote: “He’s legit. He’s going to be a real good player. He’s top 10 for sure. He might be better than that.”

Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 6-5, 315

40 Time: 5.10

Stats: 6 sacks, 6 TFL

Quote: “He’s going to get drafted very high and I don’t get it. I must be missing something. I don’t see what everyone else sees in him.”

A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 6-6, 277

40 Time: 5.04

Stats: 11.5 sacks, 14.5 TFL

Quote: “He’s a 3-4 end, he doesn’t fit a 4-3 scheme inside or outside.”

Jordan Elliott, Missouri

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 6-4, 302

40 Time: 5.02

Stats: 2.5 sacks, 8.5 TFL

Quote: “Real good against the run, but he’s a two-down guy. Maybe even a one-down guy these days. But if you want a run defender, he’s your guy.”

Davon Hamilton, Ohio State

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 6-4, 327

40 Time: 5.14

Stats: 6 sacks, 10.5 TFL

Quote: “He’s not bad at all. He’s better than a lot of guys getting more hype. He’ll come in and play.”

Marlon Davidson, Auburn

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 6-3, 303

40 Time: 5.04

Stats: 7.5 sacks, 12.5 TFL

Quote: “He’s sold, but not a difference maker. I see people saying he’s a first-round pick. I wouldn’t take him in the first round.”

Ross Blacklock, TCU

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 6-4, 290

40 Time: 4.90

Stats: 3.5 sacks, 9 TFL

Quote: “Another guy who is getting a lot of hype but watch him play he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t make any plays.”

Rashard Lawrence, LSU

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 6-2, 308

40 Time: 5.07

Stats: 2.5 sacks, 6 TFL

Quote: “Real tough, good run stuffer, one of those good early-down players.”

Leki Fotu, Utah

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 6-4, 330

40 Time: 5.15

Stats: 1.5 sacks, 8 TFL

Quote: “Big nose tackle, takes up space, but nothing special.”

Raekwon Davis, Alabama

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight 6-7, 311

40 Time: 5.12

Stats: Career: 11.5 sacks, 19.5 TFL

Quote: “One of those Alabama guys, so you kind of know he’s ready to play. But again, much better against the run.”

OVERRATED: Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma “He’s just a workout warrior.”

UNDERRATED: Rashard Lawrence, LSU

SMALL SCHOOL STAR: Auzoyah Alufohai, Western Georgia

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