Thursday, 24 December 2009

Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

I've finally had some time to sit down and get some scouting done, and decided to use what little footage I had to look at Mike Iupati, the monstrous (6'6 330lbs) offensive guard from the University of Idaho. I had the chance to watch two games of Iupati, against Colorado State and San Diego State.

It should be noted that this is the first time I have seriously scouted a player from a non-BCS school. More importantly, this is the first time I've scouted a player who is playing against comparatively weaker competition. Hopefully, my estimates as to the talent difference are accurate.

Athletically, Iupati is a specimen. I actually question if he is really 330lbs, because he has a very svelte frame and quite honestly looks like his lower body could get even bigger without losing quickness. Of course, his lower body strength (and upper body) are already well above average. He's a powerful drive blocker and has the anchor in pass protection to stop defensive tackles in their tracks. He also moves exceptionally well for a guard, a natural runner with good explosion.

As a run blocker, Iupati is exceptional. The biggest problem he has is that he moves so well, Idaho feels compelled to move him around on a lot of their running plays (lots of "power" runs to the right side, where Iupati pulls). While he does this quite well, Iupati is best when he is allowed to block straight ahead, either moving a defensive tackle backwards or getting a linebacker on the second level. In Seattle's zone blocking scheme, Iupati is as good as anyone I've scouted at adjusting to linebackers on the second level. His combination of size, athleticism, and ability to adjust lead me to believe he will be a great run blocker in the NFL. He hustles to block for WRs on screens and plays through the whistle on many runs.

Pass protection is not quite as glowing. In general, Iupati did quite well. He had a really poor quarter against Colorado State where he struggled to keep his man away from the quarterback. The root of the problem seemed to come when Iupati stopped moving his feet after making contact, which is something that can be coached. I was impressed by his ability to get into his stance quickly off the snap, not once did his man beat him off the snap. Iupati generally plays with good leverage, which is important since he is quite tall for a guard. He also has good footwork and can slide with a stunting tackle easily.

This ability to move his feet has lead to many NFL scouts suspecting that Iupati could play tackle in the NFL. I'm not quite sold on the idea, myself, as I could see some of the freak athletes beating Iupati. He does seem a little awkward in space, from what little I've seen, and personally his value as a guard seems so great I'd probably just keep him there.

All in all, Iupati is a prospect I am very excited about. His size and athleticism, combined with a fairly nasty demeanor and a great ability to adjust to linebackers, makes him a top prospect. If Iupati is available with Seattle's second pick, I'd run to the podium to make the selection. If Seattle can find a partner desiring a top ten pick, I'd consider trading down as well to take Iupati with Seattle's first pick.


Ivy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

In the words of Bill Murray, "gimme gimme, I need, I need!"

Anonymous said...

I want this guy in Seahawk blue next year. He is exactly the type of player Ruskell would be unwilling to take in round 1, which makes him all the more appealing.


ivotuk said...

Considering that the best talent will be gone by the time we pick and that the risky talent will be there to choose from, I hope we trade back and gain extra picks in a talent laden draft. Because of the CBA, more juniors are going to come out this year than ever before, so let's do this and get Iupati! :)

Rob Staton said...

Against all odds, Idaho have been put into the TV schedule this week. Can't wait to get a look at Iupati after reading this glowing review.

1stHill said...

Thanks Kyle for the scouting report.

I agree with the thought of trading down and selecting Iupati with our 1st pick. I would be happy trading down to the 15th pick to grab him. We need someone to set the tone on the offensive line and it sounds like Iupati can be that guy. Also, we need an interior lineman that can match up well with the 49ers 3-4 defense & the Rams possible future DT Suh or McCoy.

Anonymous said...

I would much rather see Anthony Davis or Mike iupati than Rodney Hudson or Charles Brown. We need some size on our offensive line

Anonymous said...

I am a Boise State alum, so I have a hard time cheering for the Vandals. However, since I still live in Idaho, I may be going to the Humanitarian Bowl this week and will pay close attention to Iupati.

Rob Staton said...

Thanks annonymous, let me know your thoughts on Iupati. Drop me an email if you have time (

Anonymous said...

i concur

jah said...

Iupati and CJ Spiller would make this fan a happy man.

Anonymous said...

1a. Russell Okung or Anthony Davis or Bruce Campbell
1b. Mike Iupati
2. Best Offensive weapon available (Best, Benn, etc). Can be a WR or RB, but someone who can scare another team.

I was originally hoping for Charles Brown and Rodney Hudson, but I would much rather take a chance on guys with great size over undersized guys with great athleticism.

No QB in the top 2 rounds is appealing at all. Clausen does nothing for me and is small, average arm, bad leader, etc. Bradford is very accurate, but that skill will be greatly diminished when he's not on a vastly superior team. I'd much rather draft Sean Canfield in the 4th round than take a chance on any of those clowns in the first 2.

At this point (with how bad we are), it's time to create a new identity. Personally, I'd love to see that identity be one that involved being able to run the ball at will and have some scary weapons on offense.

Anonymous said...

Here was my draft a few weeks back and now I like it even more.
(trade back to late teens early twenties and get 2nd 1st rd pick next year for Jake Locker)
1a Williams (OT)
1b Iupati (OG)
2 Dwyer (may need to trade up)

This would give us two starting lineman and a real pounder. Add a safety (mcdaniel) and cb (cox) in the 3rd/4th with extra picks and pick-up kampman in fa. Draft Locker next year and we are set.

E in F


Did you see CJ Spiller to night? Wow. Hope he's in Seahawk blue next year. The problem that I see is that if we don't take him with our first pick, he won't be there by the time we pick again with Denver's pick. Incredible talent. Wow.

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