Potential Draft Picks: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
There is wide speculation that the Cowboys need an upgrade at guard, particularly a young player to replace Kyle Kosier. I personally believe Kosier was the Cowboys’ most consistent lineman all season, and I plan to give statistics to back that up once I conclude my film study in the coming weeks.
Nonetheless, the Cowboys’ Senior Bowl contingent apparently “perked up” quite a bit when Idaho guard Mike Iupati’s name was called at weigh-ins. Iupati is a player that NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock called perhaps the best lineman in the draft. While that is a bit of a stretch (considering there is a solid chance Iupati will still be on the board when Dallas picks at No. 27), Iupati can be dominant at times.
Even with the Pro Bowl play of Leonard Davis and the under-appreciated Kyle Kosier, the Cowboys are dying to get younger at all of the o-line positions. Additionally, the team desperately needs a quality backup guard, as Montrae Holland and Cory Procter are about the 52nd and 53rd best players on the team. Dallas found a quality backup at tackle in Doug Free, and solidifying the guard position with a guy like Mike Iupati might make sense.
At 6’5”, 325 lbs, Iupati has great size. Surprisingly, he displays good athleticism despite his large frame. On film, he routinely dominates in the running game, but does not show that same level of dominance in pass pro. This is a concern considering the level of competition he played against.
At the Senior Bowl, Iupati was the consensus most impressive player all week in practice, but did not translate this success to the game. He was dominant in run blocking, as usual, but struggled in pass pro.
Iupati figures to go anywhere from mid-first to early-second, so he may or may not be on the board at pick 27.