Pros: Has very good strength and power and can engulf defenders at the point of attack. Has good pop off the snap as a run blcoker and gets quickly into his stance in pass protection. Iniitates contact and has a good hand punch. He has a good mean streak and finishes his blocks. Has good athleticism and is able to get out on the second level quickly to flatten linebackers and can pull. Does a nice job adjusting in space because he has decent lateral quickness.
Cons: Needs to improve in pass protection. Doesn't have great footwork and base. Needs to improve his hand use and do a better job locking on in pass protection. Is a bit of a waist bender, lunges, and overextends at times. Will miss some assignments when he's blocking on the second level or pulling. Overly relies on his size to engulf defender and needs to take better angles as a run blocker. Needs to improve his leverage and overly relies on his upper body strength.
Overview: Iupati is a player that can be a dominant blocker in the WAC and was so. He's a great athlete for his size, and has loads of potential to be a dominant run blocker.
NFL Forecast: He fits best in a zone-blocking scheme like he played in at Idaho, but has the potential to excel in a man blocking scheme with more work. I think he's a player that could come in right away and play, but he might struggle particularly in pass protection. Never really faced top competition in the WAC as far as interior players go, and probably got away with a lot of bad habits because of it. He could have issues with quicker defensive tackles. He has the size to play tackle, but I think he's a better fit inside. He's the type of interior player like a Leonard Davis that can be a dominant run blocker at the point of attack. If he can improve his pass protection skills and technique, he can be one of the top guards in the NFL, but I think it's going to take some adjustment. I think had he played in a conference other than the WAC, we would see some of his flaws exploited more.
ATL Forecast: Iupati is a good fit for the Falcons at left guard because he provides the physical run blocking presence that can offset Sam Baker's deficiencies in that realm. And while he probably wouldn't be an immediate upgrade over Justin Blalock in pass protection, he'd be a better run blcoker right off the bat. And with time, he could become a good pass protector. He has all the tools so that a coach like Paul Boudreau should be able to mold him into a top-flight guard. He could potentially be the one piece up front for the Falcons that could make them go from a good offensive line to a dominant one.
Value: Iupati is worth a first round pick because of his potential. For a team that runs a zone-blocking scheme that likes size and power, he's worth a Top 20 pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
PASS BLOCKING: 3.0
RUN BLOCKING: 5.0
MEAN STREAK: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.