Iupati making an impression in Mobile

One of the most buzzed about players during Senior Bowl week thus far is a 325-pound interior lineman.   Idaho’s Mike Iupati must be doing something right to get so much attention at an oft-overlooked position.

A sample of the love being thrown his way:

Former Ravens/Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah: [Iuputi is the] most likely Pro Bowler if you took a poll of scouts at Senior Bowl. Rare size, strength and quickness. Sticks out like a sore thumb.”

Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “[The Packers] were very, very high on Idaho G Mike Iupati, maybe even a good possibility when they pick at No. 23. But he
won’t
. If people overlooked Iupati before this week, they haven’t now . . . He’s a darn good player and
is screaming up draft boards. 35-inch arms don’t hurt.”

ESPN.com: Iuputi has confirmed his spot as the best guard in the draft.

60 Minutes did a fantastic piece on football in American Samoa a few weeks back.  Iuputi, who moved to the United States when he was 14, will be the latest to carry on the tiny island’s proud tradition.
Here’s the video if you missed it.  (And have a lot of time to kill.)

11 responses to “Iupati making an impression in Mobile

  1. Every year we go through this. A decent prospect dominates the Senior Bowl and/or the combine and shoots way up draft boards… then goes to the pros and doesn’t live up to his draft position.

  2. So many of these Samoan players show up in the NFL and they are absolute beasts. If all these scouts are right, this guy is not going to break that trend. I’ve read that he is holding his own at tackle too. He should be a top ten pick easily. I don’t care if he is a guard, he will be a wall for years to come. No reason not to take him when you have the chance.

  3. great people with great values. I would draft the whole island. if half the NFL players had the values these people have, the NFL would be a better institution.

  4. Iupati is quickly moving up draft boards, and he deserves it. It will be interesting to see if NFL scouts see him as a OT or a G.

  5. I served in the 173rd Airborne Division (74th LRSD) with two guys that emigrated from American Samoa when they were about 16. I never saw two more hardworking, positive, ungodly strong and TOUGH men in my entire life. The warrior spirit that people talk about is easy to dismiss as fluff unless you witness how these guys perform under extreme duress. Iupati may not succeed, but you will never see him loaf, back down, feign injury or attempt to get out of a contract. I would argue with anybody that disputes this claim based on the way the two men I served along with performed on the battlefield, as they are men I will tell my Grandkids about. These intangibles, coupled with such an impressive physical presence give Iupati as good of a chance as anyone to excel in the NFL. I don’t know if he has the feet to play tackle right out of the gate, but I feel he could make an immediate impact at the guard position.

  6. Hadn’t seen the “60 Minutes” story until just now. Thanks for posting – it’s definitely worth seeing.
    What an amazing place and people.

  7. Didn’t hear anything about their Tsunami problem. No Hollywood star holding a fund raiser for them?
    Oh wait, they’re Americans – and don’t count.
    and what’s congress doing screwing up their fish cannery situation? Typical bleeding heart liberals – pass a edict without seeing what the effect may be.
    Well, we have Government Motors – we might as well have Obama Tuna too.

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