As we continue our series of NFL Draft prospect profiles let's take a break from the seemingly endless run of linebackers and defensive tackles we have been talking about.
Instead, let's talk about Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati. After all, Iupati was pretty much the most talked about player at the recent Senior Bowl, he is a player who is likely to be available to the Giants if they sit at 15 in the first round and would probably look awfully nice sliding into the left guard spot in 2010.
Let's take a closer look at the 6-foot-6, 330-pound behemoth.
Mike Iupati Scouting Reports
From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.
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.
From Draft Countdown.
Excellent height and bulk --- Huge frame with long arms --- Outstanding strength --- Physical and aggressive --- Superb athlete with good quickness and agility --- Mobile with great range --- Dominant once locked on --- Uses his hands well --- Explosive with a violent initial punch --- Stout at the point of attack --- Gets a terrific push in the run game --- Intense and Competitive --- Hard Worker --- Team Leader --- Offers positional versatility --- Still has considerable upside.
Fantastic blocker with a rare blend of size and athleticism who hasn't yet reached his full potential --- Legitimate 1st Round talent.
Draft Tek calls Iupati "the best pure OG in the draft. His imposing size and nimble feet make him a favorite among the NFL scouts."
Why Iupati fits with the Giants
Rich Seubert did not distinguish himself in 2009, and the Giants undeniably need to begin considering the re-construction of their offensive line. Iupati could challenge Seubert for the left guard job right away, and might even be a guy with the athletic ability to replace Kareem McKenzie at right tackle eventually. If he is as good as NFL scouts think he is going to be, Iupati will be an anchor of someone's offensive line for the next decade.
Why the Giants should pass
Guards are not often drafted in the first round. If that is where General Manager Jerry Reese and scouting guru Marc Ross see Iupati's future then perhaps he isn't the right first-round pick for a team with as many needs as the Giants have. Historically, quality guards can be found in the middle to late rounds of the draft. If the Giants stay true to their history of taking the best player available then Iupati would definitely be a possibility, however.