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Prospect Profiles: OL Mike Iupati Idaho

(image from jodatao.blogspot.com)

If you have not figured it out yet from all of the prospect profiles I have done so far, I am a proponet of the Giants using the number 15th overall pick on an offensive linemen…provided it is good draft value at the time.

The next linemen up is a linemen from a very obsecure school…the only other player I can even think of who is from Idaho is ESPN personality Mark Schlereth.

Well actually let me link you to here (a database from the N.F.L. players that have come from every school…kinda cool).

Anyway, point is small school big time prospect.

Iupati is THE #1 rated guard on every big board I’ve seen so far.

And becuase I think the Giants should consider going OL in the first round I will probably profile all of the OL who might go in the first round (Bruce Campbell, Bryan Baluga, Anthony Davis are already done. Trent Williams, and Charles Brown are the other two linemen besides Iupati who might also go in the first round).

If you’re not interested in OL scroll down and check out the other  players profiled.

Prodraft Party Video

Mike Iupati

Measurables

(Via walterfootball.com)

a little over 6’5 325 pounds. 35” long arms 10 3/8 inch hands. (biggest off all the linemen at the Senior Bowl)

From Mike Mayock…probably the best Draft Analyst out there

Mike Iupati has been everywhere this week. Not around Mobile – though he has covered some ground there, too – but along the North team’s offensive line. The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder from Idaho has made an impression wherever he’s played. “I think he is one of the stars of the week,” Mike Mayock, an analyst for the NFL Network, said of Iupati, a consensus All-American pick this season for the Vandals. “He is one of the few people that I could say that could probably start at any of the five positions in the NFL on the offensive line. So I think he’s a first-round pick. On tape, he was a first-round pick and he’s done nothing but help himself by coming here.” Wednesday, Iupati was placed at right tackle and performed well. At Tuesday’s practice, he got in some work at guard, the position he played at Idaho. But the Detroit Lions’ coaching staff placed him at the all-important left tackle spot, too, just to take a look. “I got beat three or four times (at left tackle),” Iupati said. “But by the end of the day I was doing OK.” Throughout Senior Bowl practices this week, Iupati has done much better than OK. Among those paying attention and becoming a fan is North team coach Jim Schwartz. “The thing scouts, general managers and coaches want to see when you step up to this level and go against guys from bigger conferences is if there is an adjustment,” Schwartz said. “There hasn’t been a whole lot of adjustment for Mike. He’s right at home playing against these other guys, who are the best players in the country.” – Tommy Hicks, Alabama Live

Scouting Reports

CBS NFL Draft Scout

Slipping through the cracks due to questions about his ability to qualify academically after moving to the United States at 14, Iupati quietly signed with Idaho and has since emerged as one of the more intriguing big men in this draft. Iupati, who entered his senior season with only 20 career starts, did not allow a single sack in 2009, earning consensus All-American honors — the first Vandal to gain such attention since defensive end Ryan Phillips was recognized in 1995.While all of his 34 career starts have come at left guard, some feel his ultimate pro position could lie outside at offensive tackle or even as a defensive tackle. His unique combination of size, strength and quick feet could be enough to warrant a top 50 selection.
Analysis
Pass blocking: Good initial quickness off the snap. Provides a significant jolt to the defender with his punch. Too high in his pass protection but has the strong hands to latch on to the defender and ride him throughout the play. Good balance and lateral agility to slide with the defender and remain square. Can get himself in trouble with leverage by playing too high. Long arms and great lower strength to lock out. Rarely takes a step back even against a powerful bull rush, but this could be an area of concern against NFL defensive linemen, especially when Iupati fails to move his feet. Has developed into a savvy blocker. Looks to help out his teammates when not covered. Wants to hit someone.Run Blocking: Can dominate as a run blocker due to his mass and rare upper-body strength. Provides an explosive initial pop that often knocks the defender back. Has to do a better job of latching on, as he’ll knock his opponent back only to see him regroup and get back into the play. Very good drive blocker when he plays with leverage and keeps his hands inside. Can physically remove the defender from the hole. Looks to eliminate more than one defender on the play and will release to the second level. Good effort downfield.Pulling/trapping: Surprisingly agile in getting out and blocking at the second level. Good body control and straight-line speed for a player of his size. Can re-adjust in space to hit the linebacker. Fails to lock onto the defender, at times, preferring to violently shove his target to the ground and look for others.Initial Quickness: Good initial quickness off the snap in pass protection. Even on the rare occasions when beaten off the snap, his long arms and wide-body make it difficult for defenders (including blitzing linebackers) to sneak through his gap. When beaten by quicker defensive tackles in the running game, has the agility and long arms to catch them as they slide by, typically knocking them down and pancaking them.Downfield: Intimidating presence on the move. Good athleticism and balance for a man his size and can redirect to make the effective block when he gets close. Will misjudge angles at times, and miss his intended target. When he does so, rather than turn to stand helplessly around the pile, he moves on to the next target. Good effort to block downfield.

Intangibles: Made significant progress over the past two seasons and appears to be just scratching the surface of his potential. Size and athleticism combination enough that some will view him as a better offensive tackle or even defensive tackle prospect. Born in American Samoa and moved to the United States at 14. Began learning English (and football) at that time. Has only played football since high school. Signed with Idaho after bigger programs had concerns about his ability to qualify academically. Voted team captain by his peers for 2009.

Draftboard Insider.com

Scouting Report-There are Big Conference scouting gurus everywhere kicking themselves for letting Iupati end up at Idaho.  You look up road grader in the dictionary and here’s who you see.  He’s got a massive frame with long arms and huge hands.  He’s not your typical fat boy and carries his 330lbs really well.  Going along with that, he’s about as athletic a guy for his height and weight in the draft.  You love a nasty attitude and Iupati has it in spades.  He throws a big punch and never takes a play off.  Loves to finish strong and that usually means dropping the yokozuna on a defensive player.  Now he’s not too good to be true but he does have some shortcomings.  He’s not real quick, and doesn’t work well against the edge, having to drop out and picking players up on the outside.  This goes along with blitz pickup.  He makes excellent reads and knows what to do on every play but there are times when his body just won’t let him get there.  Some of this is footwork.  You have to admit when you’ve been able to physically dominate like he has, your footwork and techique is going to take a backseat.

Draft Status-It seems every year a guy like Iupati sneaks into the first round.  I’d have no problem with my team were picking in the bottom of the first and needed a guard drafted him.  One thing that could effect his status is if a team thinks they can move him to tackle.  If they do, they will rate him higher.  I’m not ridin’ that train.  I suspect somewhere between pick 20-40 Iupati comes off the board.

Final Analysis-Love Iupati’s game.  I don’t think he can move to tackle and as a guard he’s much better in small spaces then pulling or at the second level.  But for a team that plays a lot of 4-3 defenses where he’s going to have one on one’s against another wide body, point of attack, he’s going to win those.  As I said, his pass pro is going to have to improve, but that’s pretty minimal.  Give him a run heavy team and he’ll dominate. Some are concerned he hasn’t played dominate defenses but that doesn’t bug me.  He can maul people and works hard. That can’t be underestimated.  Conditioning and effort won’t be an issue and teams have to appreciate that.

Reminds me of: Aaron Sears, OG Tampa BayBoth are big physical guys who are stronger as run blocker than pass protectors.

ESPN’s Scouts INC.

Overall Football Traits
Production 3 2005: Idaho redshirts Iupati during his true freshman season 2006: Appears in all 12 games in a reserve role 2007: Starts in all 12 games at left guard. 2008: Appears in 10 games, starting eight at guard. Earned second team All-WAC honors.
Height-Weight-Speed 2 Possesses an enormous frame and is thickly built. Top-end speed is below average for the position but his massive size makes it understandable.
Durability 4 Suffered a shoulder injury late in 2007 that required offseason surgeryand was forced to sit out spring drills and miss the first two contests of the 2008 season.
Intangibles 3 Showed the mental toughness to battle back from that shoulder surgery.

Where the mocks have him falling (2/14)

Todd McShay 1st round 16th overall to the 49ers

CBS NFL Draft Scout 1st round 27th overall to the Dallas Cowboys

NFLdraftsite.com 1st round 27th overall to the Dallas Cowboys

Walterfootball.com 27th to the Dallas Cowboys

Draftek.com 18th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Prodraftparty 1st round 20th overall to Houston

Big Board Rankings

Drafttek.com 15th overall

Fftoolbox.com 24th

CBS NFL Draft Scout 14th

ProdraftParty 24th

NFLDraft Spot 14th

Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

Iupati is a big body road grader that could be a very punishing run blocker in the N.F.L. Iupati is not a great pass blocker, but guards don’t always have to be, in the N.F.L. elite guards need to be pretty good pass blockers and great run blockers and what’s extremely important is that a guard can pull.

Is Iupati a top 15 player in this draft….I’m not sure that I’m buying into that yet, but he clearly has a very good chance at a bright future in the N.F.L.

There are some who believe that Ipuati could swing over and play (an effective) LT in the N.F.L. and if that is the case his value would be even greater. Right now though, I think teams should consider him as a good guard prospect.

Bartolis Final Verdict

I’ve said this a 1,000 times already, but I’ll say it again if you haven’t read it yet from me.

Jerry Reese in the first three rounds has shown a penchant to draft players from BIG time programs.

In the first round Jerry Reese has gone after positions of need As long as the Value was comparable (Aaron Ross, Kenny Phillips, and Hakeem Nicks were NOT reaches. Phillips in fact was a steal…but Nicks and Ross were also probably not the best players available).

AFTER the first round Reese drafts best player available (Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Terrell Thomas, Clint Sintim, William Beatty, Travis Beckum, Rhett Bomar these are just a few of the many examples)

What does that mean?

It means that I do NOT believe the New York Giants will pursue Mike Iupati in the first round…and quite frankly I think 15 is a little too high for a guard in the N.F.L. draft.

Iupati’s situation reminds me a LOT of Branden Albert a couple of years ago…a player people where wondering if he could play Tackle or guard and a guy who just rose through the drafts and ended up going 15th (pretty sure) to the Cheifs (positive).

Iupati though is a different player. Albert was a guard who had light athletic feet who had a sleighter frame. Iupati is a monster, a powerful blocker.

Ipuati is a player I’d be very intersted in IF the Giants could trade down to the 24th or so and select him there.

That would solve our OL problems, I think. The Giants then could move Beatty to LT, Iupati at LG, O’hara at C, Snee at RG, and Diehl over to RT to give us an athletic line where no one is playing out of position.

I don’t think that happens though.

OG is a need for the Giants though, and Iupati is the guard who has a shot of being drafted in the first round (as of now) and that’s why I profiled him.

But he doesn’t offer great positional value at 15th overall and he went to a small school I do not believe the Giants will be interested in Mike Iupati at 15th overall in the 2010 N.F.L. Draft.

Previous Profiles.

S Chad Jones

OLB/DE Sergio Kindle

ILB Sean Lee

S Eric Berry

OT Bruce Campbell

ILB Daryl Washington

DT/NT Dan Williams (Updated with K.C. Joyner’s Draft Lab 2/7)

CB Kyle Wilson

DT Jared Odrick

DE Carlos Dunlap

ILB Micah Johnson

DT Arthur Jones

OT Bryan Baluga

OT Anthony Davis (UPDATED 2/5/10)

DT Brian Price

ILB Brandon Spikes

S Earl Thomas

ILB Rolando McClain

RB C.J. Spiller

S Taylor Mays

Let me know what you guys are thinking about Mike Iupati or any of the other players already profiles this off-season.

Have a nice day, everyone.


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13 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: OL Mike Iupati Idaho”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Didn’t need to read the profile for me to give a resounding no. He would be an excellent second round pick though. I would prefer a tackle to be taken.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I hate people moving guards to tackles. You want all your lineman to be athletic, Guards have to pull and block athletic linebackers at the second level. This is not your grandpa’s NFL, anyone else with me here.

  3. MIAGMAN says:

    Love the website and all the profiles. Best Giant related site on the net IMHO. But what about Sean Weatherspoon??? He will be the pick at 15. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. He will run a 4.4 40 at 241/6.1ft and is a Pat Willis clone. Forget McClain. Forget Oline. This team must win now. The future is not guaranteed.

  4. already profiled.

    check it out let me know what you think.

  5. mimi says:

    good article!!! being out west he is well known in the college football circles..i have heard chris ault mention him with passion…. but i think our 1st pick needs to be secondary…
    thanks for the great profiles!

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