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hawaiiansteel
01-29-2010, 04:08 PM
Trai Essex is a free agent after this season and we may find Willie Colon hard to re-sign, here is a good solution to those issues...



Idaho's Mike Iupati taking a tour of North line during Senior Bowl practices
January 29, 2010, 7:00AM

Mike Iupati has been everywhere this week. Not around Mobile -- though he has covered some ground there, too -- but along the North team's offensive line. The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder from Idaho has made an impression wherever he's played.

"I think he is one of the stars of the week," Mike Mayock, an analyst for the NFL Network, said of Iupati, a consensus All-American pick this season for the Vandals. "He is one of the few people that I could say that could probably start at any of the five positions in the NFL on the offensive line. So I think he's a first-round pick. On tape, he was a first-round pick and he's done nothing but help himself by coming here."

Wednesday, Iupati was placed at right tackle and performed well. At Tuesday's practice, he got in some work at guard, the position he played at Idaho. But the Detroit Lions' coaching staff placed him at the all-important left tackle spot, too, just to take a look.

"I got beat three or four times (at left tackle)," Iupati said. "But by the end of the day I was doing OK."

Throughout Senior Bowl practices this week, Iupati has done much better than OK. Among those paying attention and becoming a fan is North team coach Jim Schwartz.

"The thing scouts, general managers and coaches want to see when you step up to this level and go against guys from bigger conferences is if there is an adjustment," Schwartz said. "There hasn't been a whole lot of adjustment for Mike. He's right at home playing against these other guys, who are the best players in the country."

When his family moved to the United States from American Samoa, Iupati was drawn to football.

"I liked it right away," he said.

Some expressed concern as to whether Iupati's dominance in recent seasons was a reflection of the competition he was facing. Apparently, he has provided enough evidence this week to believe that wasn't the case.

"I've been very comfortable here," Iupati said. "The first day I got here, it was very different. It was very fast and competitive."

Yet Iupati said he quickly got a grasp on things, and the competitive nature of the practices only served to push him more.

"Just being versatile," he said when asked what aspect of his game had gained the most attention this week. "I wanted to play the position they wanted me to play because I know I'm capable of any position they want me to play. I'm very physical and aggressive."

He said he felt his personality was suited for the next level of play, describing himself as a "very laid-back person" when he's away from the field, but someone who takes on a vastly different persona on the field.

"In the game, I turn it on," he said.

The Outland Trophy finalist has turned it on this week and has only helped his already rising stock as a NFL draft prospect.

hawaiiansteel
01-29-2010, 04:16 PM
Senior Bowl Dish: Best of the best: Idaho's Iupati, Ole Miss' McCluster

Russ Lande
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 - 3:42 p.m. ET

MOBILE, ALA. — My team of former NFL scouts and I were on hand for all the North and South practices this week at the Senior Bowl and came away with some firm observations:

Senior Bowl practices has most likely helped improve Tony Pike's draft stock.

Strongest arm: Tony Pike, Cincinnati. Although Pike struggled at times with accuracy and consistency this week, he clearly has the big arm needed to make all the NFL throws.

Weakest arm: Sean Canfield, Oregon State. He struggled with downfield throws because his passes tended to float and dip on receivers.

Fastest receiver: Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss. His explosiveness was evident throughout the week, and he has NFL people salivating about his speed and versatility.

Best hands: Jacoby Ford, Clemson. He immediately showed his smooth route-running skills and consistent hands on Monday's first practice and continued to impress throughout the week.

Best inside runner: LeGarrette Blount, Oregon. We expected to see his powerful running style this week, but scouts were caught off-guard with his quickness and ability to burst through holes into the second level.

Best outside runner: McCluster. He showed great instincts on where to attack and the elite burst and top-end speed to explode out of his cut to gain the corner.

Best pass blocker: Mike Iupati, Idaho. He showed the strength to take on and stalemate bull rushers and the short-area quickness to change directions to neutralize stunts or handle speed rushers.

Best run blocker: Iupati. He is an extremely violent run blocker at the point of attack, consistently able to blow up his man at the line of scrimmage.

Strongest offensive lineman: Iupati. No surprise here—Iupati easily was the most dominant lineman at this year's Senior Bowl.

Strongest defensive lineman: Jeff Owens, Georgia. He demonstrated the raw strength inside to be a natural 3-4 nose tackle, and he has the frame to add the necessary weight to play the position well in the NFL.

Best run stuffer: Jared Odrick, Penn State. He showed the speed and agility to pursue the ballcarrier down the line of scrimmage as well as the excellent hand usage and quickness needed to defeat blockers to stuff inside runs.

Best pass rusher: Brandon Graham, Michigan. He easily was the most impressive defensive end this week. He showed great power and speed coming off the edge as well as the diverse pass-rush arsenal needed to keep offensive tackles on their heels.

Hardest hitter: Taylor Mays, USC. He was an intimidating force in the Trojans' secondary in '09 and brought that same attitude to Senior Bowl practices. One negative: His aggressiveness at times actually hurt him in coverage.

Best cover man: Kyle Wilson, Boise State. He looked great in man-to-man and zone coverages, demonstrating the quickness and agility to flip his hips to transition out of backpedal and run with receivers, all the while staying in position on his man's hip.

Oviedo
01-29-2010, 04:22 PM
I'd have no problem with Iupati at #18 and let him compete for the RG spot. I'm not sure they give up on Urbik and/or Foster after one season.

The reason Iupati makes the most sense of all the OL mentioned in Round 1 is he is the best player in his position but has the skillset and the ability to play OT which means Colon leaves which may be inevitable in a year or two versus paying him $6M+ per year. Iupati OJTs for a year at RG before that happens.

feltdizz
01-29-2010, 06:21 PM
I'd have no problem with Iupati at #18 and let him compete for the RG spot. I'm not sure they give up on Urbik and/or Foster after one season.

The reason Iupati makes the most sense of all the OL mentioned in Round 1 is he is the best player in his position but has the skillset and the ability to play OT which means Colon leaves which may be inevitable in a year or two versus paying him $6M+ per year. Iupati OJTs for a year at RG before that happens.

He won't be their at 18 the way people are talking about him.

SteelStallion
01-29-2010, 07:04 PM
I'd have no problem with Iupati at #18 and let him compete for the RG spot. I'm not sure they give up on Urbik and/or Foster after one season.

The reason Iupati makes the most sense of all the OL mentioned in Round 1 is he is the best player in his position but has the skillset and the ability to play OT which means Colon leaves which may be inevitable in a year or two versus paying him $6M+ per year. Iupati OJTs for a year at RG before that happens.

He won't be their at 18 the way people are talking about him.

Yea. This reminds me of the Virginia dude from a few years ago that that the Steeler fans salivated over (Brandon Alberts) all offseason and assumed we cold get at #24 and after his stock rose he went in the top ten, #7 I think it was.

SteelerNation1
01-29-2010, 09:33 PM
I'd have no problem with Iupati at #18 and let him compete for the RG spot. I'm not sure they give up on Urbik and/or Foster after one season.

The reason Iupati makes the most sense of all the OL mentioned in Round 1 is he is the best player in his position but has the skillset and the ability to play OT which means Colon leaves which may be inevitable in a year or two versus paying him $6M+ per year. Iupati OJTs for a year at RG before that happens.

He won't be their at 18 the way people are talking about him.

Yea. This reminds me of the Virginia dude from a few years ago that that the Steeler fans salivated over (Brandon Alberts) all offseason and assumed we cold get at #24 and after his stock rose he went in the top ten, #7 I think it was.
Yep, Iupati will prob go in the top 8-10 now.

Shoe
01-29-2010, 09:45 PM
If they subscribe to this board, he'd be #1 overall. He sounds appealing too, but if his rise pushes another prospect down (to us), I'm all for that. i.e. Brian Price

Interesting article. Thanks.

RuthlessBurgher
01-30-2010, 11:19 AM
Yea. This reminds me of the Virginia dude from a few years ago that that the Steeler fans salivated over (Brandon Alberts) all offseason and assumed we cold get at #24 and after his stock rose he went in the top ten, #7 I think it was.

Branden Albert was taken by the Chiefs with the 15th pick in 2008.

RuthlessBurgher
01-30-2010, 11:21 AM
If they subscribe to this board, he'd be #1 overall. He sounds appealing too, but if his rise pushes another prospect down (to us), I'm all for that. i.e. Brian Price

Interesting article. Thanks.

I agree that Brian Price is a legit mid-first-round prospect, but he's a 4-3 DT. He's not a 3-4 NT or a 3-4 DE. Unless you are subscribing to the Oviedo defensive switcharoo, I don't see where Brian Price fits in to our current defense.

Oviedo
01-30-2010, 02:07 PM
I'd have no problem with Iupati at #18 and let him compete for the RG spot. I'm not sure they give up on Urbik and/or Foster after one season.

The reason Iupati makes the most sense of all the OL mentioned in Round 1 is he is the best player in his position but has the skillset and the ability to play OT which means Colon leaves which may be inevitable in a year or two versus paying him $6M+ per year. Iupati OJTs for a year at RG before that happens.

He won't be their at 18 the way people are talking about him.

Yea. This reminds me of the Virginia dude from a few years ago that that the Steeler fans salivated over (Brandon Alberts) all offseason and assumed we cold get at #24 and after his stock rose he went in the top ten, #7 I think it was.

I think he is viewed as a "bust"

Shoe
01-30-2010, 05:20 PM
If they subscribe to this board, he'd be #1 overall. He sounds appealing too, but if his rise pushes another prospect down (to us), I'm all for that. i.e. Brian Price

Interesting article. Thanks.

I agree that Brian Price is a legit mid-first-round prospect, but he's a 4-3 DT. He's not a 3-4 NT or a 3-4 DE. Unless you are subscribing to the Oviedo defensive switcharoo, I don't see where Brian Price fits in to our current defense.

Oh, I've been on that notion (4-3) since we got Tomlin (back to the trib forum I was saying it, and especially after we drafted Wood' and Timmons that one year).

But, I think Price can play 34 end if we stay with that scheme. I do think he is ideal inside, as a 43 Tackle. (And I think Hood is the same way--ideal as a 43 DT, but can play 34 DE). It's something that needs major addressing though, cuz (in terms of young guys), we only have Hood--and Hood is NOT a difference-maker IMO.

NW Steeler
01-30-2010, 05:45 PM
If they subscribe to this board, he'd be #1 overall. He sounds appealing too, but if his rise pushes another prospect down (to us), I'm all for that. i.e. Brian Price

Interesting article. Thanks.

I agree that Brian Price is a legit mid-first-round prospect, but he's a 4-3 DT. He's not a 3-4 NT or a 3-4 DE. Unless you are subscribing to the Oviedo defensive switcharoo, I don't see where Brian Price fits in to our current defense.

Oh, I've been on that notion (4-3) since we got Tomlin (back to the trib forum I was saying it, and especially after we drafted Wood' and Timmons that one year).

But, I think Price can play 34 end if we stay with that scheme. I do think he is ideal inside, as a 43 Tackle. (And I think Hood is the same way--ideal as a 43 DT, but can play 34 DE). It's something that needs major addressing though, cuz (in terms of young guys), we only have Hood--and Hood is NOT a difference-maker IMO.

I don't think anyone thought Aaron Smith was a difference maker when he was drafted either. Hood has a lot of tools to work with, it would appear.

Chucktownsteeler
01-30-2010, 05:52 PM
Although Iupati seems like a great pick, our problems are in the secondary and ILB. I would rather see a CB/S or ILB taken in the first round.

Chucktownsteeler

BradshawsHairdresser
01-30-2010, 07:16 PM
Steelers are going to trade for Asomugha from the Raiders, so they won't need to draft a CB.






OK, I'm dreaming, but it COULD happen.... :lol:

steelernation77
01-30-2010, 07:18 PM
Iupati is not having a great Senior Bowl. It doesn't look like he can play OT.

RuthlessBurgher
01-30-2010, 08:40 PM
You could see the beast potential there, but there were some blatant holds as well. Mayock was saying when he was looking at Iupati's tape that he could have been called for holding 5-6 times in a given game.

hawaiiansteel
01-30-2010, 08:43 PM
Steelers are going to trade for Asomugha from the Raiders, so they won't need to draft a CB.

OK, I'm dreaming, but it COULD happen.... :lol:



I dreamt the same thing, and we only had to give up Tyrone Carter for Asamugha! :Cheers

Jom112
01-30-2010, 10:29 PM
You could see the beast potential there, but there were some blatant holds as well. Mayock was saying when he was looking at Iupati's tape that he could have been called for holding 5-6 times in a given game.

He looked horrible when they played him on the right side. The DT's he faced on the right side (Geno Atkins and Dan Williams) beat him off the snap consistently, which forced him to start holding.

He looked a lot better on the left side. Run blocking was impressive, he swallowed up some LB's and got to the second level a good amount. He definitely needs to work on his pass blocking though...