Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati was already considered the best guard heading into the 2010 NFL draft, but his play during Senior Bowl practices is confirming that spot.
Iupati (6-foot-6, 325 pounds) has been so good that Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. write that Iupati could turn into a late first-round pick, making him the only non-AQ player projected to go in the first round.
“There is not a weakness in Iupati's game when he's lined up at guard,” the Scouts Inc. trio wrote in their North Team practice report. “His quick first step, lateral quickness, and long arms make him a dominant force inside, and he is a nasty finisher who is not satisfied until defenders are on their backs.”
Iupati’s play is no surprise to those of us who followed Idaho this season. In every game, even against top teams such as Boise State, Iupati was the most-dominant offensive lineman on the field. Almost no one got to Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle from Iupati’s side of the line. He was a consensus All-American and the first Idaho All-American since 1957.
While Iupati is gaining a lot of praise now, his journey toward being a first round draft pick is just starting. He needs to finish the Senior Bowl on a high note and then make a great showing at the NFL combine to move into the first round in April.