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Thursday, February 25, 2010
Okung and Iupati could land in AFC West

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- The offensive line could be a focus of the early rounds for all four AFC West teams.

Kansas City, which has the No. 5 pick, and Oakland, which drafts No. 8, could use a first-round pick on a tackle. Denver could look for guards and centers early in the draft and San Diego could look for tackle help early.

Two players stood out to me Thursday as offensive linemen were escorted into the media room: Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung and Idaho guard Mike Iupati. Okung is expected to be a sure top-10 pick and Iupati is skyrocketing up draft boards. He may be taken late in the first round.

Okung would fit in at either Kansas City or Oakland. If the Chiefs bypass Okung, Oakland could get him.

Okung is a tall, lean 307-pounder. He is soft spoken and answers questions with “Yes, sir” and “No, sir.” Yet, he is still mighty confident. Asked about his 2009 campaign, Okung said: “I don’t recall any bad plays, if you catch my drift.”

Kansas City and Oakland both would be lucky to get this player.

Iupati would fit anywhere in the AFC West. Still, AFC West teams may not get the chance to take him unless he falls into the second round. If he does, Kansas City, Oakland and Denver are all in play. Oakland is an interesting possibility because Raiders coach Tom Cable played at coached at Idaho and he is an offensive line specialist. It is doubtful San Diego, which drafts No. 28 in the first round, would take a guard with major issues at running back and nose tackle.