Mike Iupati
6’6, 330 pounds | Guard | Idaho

Awareness: Has very good pre-snap awareness to diagnose where a play is coming from. Needs to sustain his blocks longer. Should stay on his initial man and finish off the block.  Too often Iupati releases his block to work on another defender.

Balance: Rarely gets pushed around at the line of scrimmage. Keeps his shoulders square. Always stays on both feet.

Initial quickness: Gets into position incredibly quickly. Gets from a three-point stance to having his arms up and his legs wide really fluidly. Moves off the line of scrimmage without hesitation. Has the quickness of a Pro Bowl left tackle.

Movement: Iupati has excellent footwork. Has a quick outside step. When he has to, Iupati works upfield quickly. Tends to move around too much instead of staying in his area. Very light on his feet. Works exceptionally well on the second level.

Pass blocking: Picks up stunts against quick ends well. Good help blocker, especially against ends who work to the inside. Has a strong hand punch to jolt defensive linemen.

Pulling: For a player his size, it’s surprising just how good Iupati is at pulling. he works really well on the move, working from left to right. Doesn’t make missteps. Is best when his target isn’t on the move.

Run blocking: Can be dominant on run blocking because of his size and strength. Aggressive off the snap, which helps him get leverage. Could do a better job of keeping his knees bent in run blocking so defenders don’t get under his pads. Does a nice job of moving to the side and pushing defenders into the pile to create running lanes. Keeps a good base and doesn’t get pushed back.

Size: Possesses great size for the position and has a good build throughout. Isn’t just a big, fat offensive lineman. Looks to be in good shape. Has long arms.

Strength: Does nicely off the snap dipping his shoulder and driving into defenders. His functional strength is ready for the NFL. He’s strong throughout his torso and has powerful legs. Looking at his frame, he could even get bigger, which is scary considering he’s already at 330 pounds.

Technique: Good job as a hand fighter keeping defenders out of his frame. But Iupati has to do a more consistent job with proper hand technique. At times would get complacent and drop his arms. Always keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage at all times unless pulling.

Final word: Although it may have been against somewhat lesser competition, Iupati was arguably the best player on the field in every game he played in 2009. Iupati was a consensus All-American and a finalist for the Outland Trophy as a senior. What Iupati showed throughout the year is that he’s the premier senior guard prospect in the nation.

The question about Iupati is where to play him. His footwork, arm length and strength is so good he could probably play left tackle. Iupati could be the next Branden Albert – a solid tackle with little upside. Or he could stick at guard and start from Day 1.

Guards aren’t generally taken in the first round, but Iupati could be the exception.