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Iupati could crash the top tackle party

col_iupati.jpgIt’s widely assumed that four tackles will fly off the board on Thursday night.  In alphabetical order (which should help us avoid a couple of e-mails from folks complaining about the manner in which their clients were listed), they are Bryan Bulaga, Anthony Davis, Russell Okung, and Trent Williams.

There’s a chance that the top interior offensive lineman could be taken before each member of that quartet is picked.

Guard Michael Iupati, like Branden Albert two years ago, could be moved to the outside at the next level.  Per a league source, Iupati has taken 10 pre-draft visits.  At the Scouting Combine, 22 of 32 teams interviewed him.

He has visited the Steelers, Dolphins, Chiefs, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Bengals, Vikings, Browns, Lions, and 49ers.  Though not much usually can be read into pre-draft visits (but for the fact that teams like the Bengals almost always draft from the list of players who have come to town), the sheer volume of visits suggests a high degree of interest.

Iupati also has been worked out privately by the Browns, Eagles, and Jaguars.  Teams rumored to be interested but trying to hide it are the Broncos, Raiders, and Giants.

It’s a given that he’ll be picked on Thursday night.  The real question is whether he’ll go in the top half — and whether he may even go in the top ten.

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31 Responses to “Iupati could crash the top tackle party”
  1. kpweaver27 says: Apr 18, 2010 8:11 PM

    As a Colts fan I had my eye on him 3/4 through the NFL season, and then begin to see him creep up draft boards slowly. He’s the real deal, and now that I’m assured we won’t get him in Indy, I can say he should be the 1st or 2nd OL off the board.

  2. Howboutdemcowboys says: Apr 18, 2010 8:19 PM

    Most mock drafts have Pittsburgh taking Iupati at 18 after 3 of the 4 have been taken. Davis being most commonly the one slipping for his . . .what the hell i’ll go there “lethargy addiction”

  3. Benny Mendenberger-Ward says: Apr 18, 2010 8:39 PM

    Okung will be the first one selected.

  4. bomismorg says: Apr 18, 2010 8:50 PM

    this guy sucked at the senior bowl game. why is there so much hype? he got destroyed inside by the top senior talent. wow i hope my team doesnt pick him up. he will be destroyed in the nfl. even mayock stated he needs to toughen up.

  5. gregoriorossini says: Apr 18, 2010 8:57 PM

    Bet he goes before Bulaga

  6. vic vicious says: Apr 18, 2010 8:57 PM

    raiders will f this up thursday

  7. funi says: Apr 18, 2010 9:02 PM

    Cable went to Idaho and Iupati goes to Idaho. Raiders take him and Al Davis blows a gasket!

  8. brasho says: Apr 18, 2010 9:06 PM

    Top 10 for an OG? Iupati didn’t suck at the Senior Bowl at OG, he sucked at OT… he’ll probably go top 20, but not top 10.

  9. Abe Froeman says: Apr 18, 2010 9:07 PM

    Agree with bomismorg.

  10. winslow says: Apr 18, 2010 9:12 PM

    Iupati will be a good right guard.
    Or an average left guard.
    Or a substandard right tackle.
    Or a horrible left tackle.

  11. robert ethan says: Apr 18, 2010 9:39 PM

    “Hey, who let in the fat Samoan?”.

  12. Jungle Juice says: Apr 18, 2010 10:09 PM

    I’m hoping he lasts until 21. (Bengals) I’ve never seen such a huge OL move like that and the guy can play mean.

  13. benjua says: Apr 18, 2010 10:11 PM

    he’ll go in the 18-25 range, like he’s supposed to. this site is passing off an awful lot of speculation as probability to impressionable people.

  14. Gautam says: Apr 18, 2010 10:22 PM

    Bill Polian doesn’t like to blow up his draft for that one guy.
    I wish he would slide through to the Colts at #31, highly doubtful though

  15. Asswipe Johnson (Pronounced Az-Wee-Pay) says: Apr 18, 2010 10:40 PM

    I said this a couple months ago…I love this guy.

  16. Stafford's Johnson says: Apr 18, 2010 11:58 PM

    Dude didn’t start playing football until he was 15. Also never played tackle before he got to the senior bowl and obviously it takes more than a practice or two to make that transition. I think he can be an All Pro guard or an average tackle, will go no later than 18 to the Steelers.

  17. godofwine says: Apr 19, 2010 12:18 AM

    Albert should have been left at guard. I know tackles make more money and are important, but playing out of position is worse for a player than money. I would keep Iupati at guard or right tackle. Right tackle is important as well.

  18. rileyg1 says: Apr 19, 2010 12:56 AM

    Sorry but arent 1sr rounders supposed to start right away. If its anywhere but left guard he is in big trouble. He inexperience against top talent was exposed in the senior bowl. Thank goodness the refs decided to cut him some slack because he was going to set a record for holding flags. Everytime they moved him to showcase his talents he looked totally lost. He will probably be fine in time but if you draft a guy in the first round he should be a tackle and ready to play. He was outplayed by John Jerry in the senior bowl too.

  19. chadgoy says: Apr 19, 2010 1:30 AM

    Raiders will grab him @ #8. All these F#@&ing experts and their mock drafts…To Raiders at #8, not flashy pick, but smart.

  20. prophet of the light says: Apr 19, 2010 2:20 AM

    He has Steelers player written all over him.
    -A Patriots fan.

  21. We need linemen says: Apr 19, 2010 5:58 AM

    Bulaga looks like a poor mans Robert Gallery, but would still be a better choice for teams in need of a tackle than Iupati.
    There are reasons why he wasn’t playing tackle at the college level. He hasn’t got the feet to play tackle. He’ll be eaten alive in the NFL if they move him outside.
    The importance of guards is underrated. It doesn’t matter how good your tackles are if the interior is weak. Keep Iupati at guard and he is worth a mid to late first.

  22. burntorangehorn says: Apr 19, 2010 7:25 AM

    Saffold could go in the first round as well, possibly ahead of Davis.

  23. Mac says: Apr 19, 2010 8:36 AM

    benjua says: April 18, 2010 10:11 PM
    “he’ll go in the 18-25 range, like he’s supposed to. this site is passing off an awful lot of speculation as probability to impressionable people.”
    Yeah, it’s almost like a rumor mill around here!!!

  24. beer_beer_beer_beer says: Apr 19, 2010 9:06 AM

    Who is Brandon Albert?

  25. Hap says: Apr 19, 2010 9:19 AM

    That clown Gosselin at Dallas Mornin News has Iupati going at 27 to Dallas. I want money for putting my mock out there.

  26. CapsLockKey says: Apr 19, 2010 9:49 AM

    One big difference between Albert and Iupati. Albert actually had some experience playing some LT in college and did it well. Probably would have full-time if he wasn’t playing alongside D’Brickashaw Ferguson then Eugene Monroe who were both top 10 picks.

  27. The Curse of Bobby Layne Part 2 says: Apr 19, 2010 10:22 AM

    brasho – Did you even watch the senior bowl? He got BURNT as an OG by several players!
    As an OT in that game, it was clear that he couldn’t play that position at all.
    Mike Mayock commented several times that he was concerned that he was holding a lot, because he looked at tapes of the guy in other games, and he did the same thing against inferior talent.
    Personally, I think he’s a bust, and first round is waaaaay too early to draft an OG.
    If we learned anything last year, it is that teams don’t view OG’s as a top investment……….
    Here in Detroit, we are DYING for good guards and a right tackle to replace CherliBUST (amongst about 20 other positions). I wanted this guy badly until i saw his abysmal performance at the Senior Bowl.

  28. defmidi says: Apr 19, 2010 10:51 AM

    dude modestly commits five holds a game, trips over his own feet when on an island. but hey he can run, go get em plastic pants.

  29. 1NationRaiderNation says: Apr 19, 2010 6:43 PM

    he is a hue jackson smash your face kind of guy, more so than a tom cable zbs guy. I love Iupati, and Pouncey, but would take Okung, Buluga, and Williams prior to Iupati. I think he will dominate a a RG as well, and raiders greatest need is OLT, which is really Buluga and Okung. I am not so sure he can make that transition.
    For a RG we can get Brandon Carter from texas tech in the 4th rd and he will be a solid player. Plus he will fit right in with the black hole. Long shot but I think raiders are also eyeing McClain.

  30. GoBrowns19 says: Apr 19, 2010 7:26 PM

    If the Browns were to shock everyone and get one of these tackles, we’d have an incredible O line…I wouldn’t be too upset by that at all if we could get D the rest of the draft.

  31. Beer Cheese Soup says: Apr 20, 2010 3:56 AM

    Iupati is the real deal, mark it down. Dude is a beast all around.
    I’ll concede he’s still a bit raw, but one thing is for sure: you have to be really really good to get noticed when you come from a perpetually horrendous program like Idaho.
    I give it two years before no one even remembers who Steve Hutchinson was.

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