Commentary

Rookie Watch: Iupati finding his way

Originally Published: December 22, 2010
By Matt Williamson | Scouts Inc.

At Idaho, Mike Iupati was bigger, stronger and much more talented overall than the defensive linemen he was asked to block. He made it look easy -- and he's extremely naturally gifted.

But his technique needed a lot of work. At the Senior Bowl, against much better competition, it became clear Iupati was a grabber who often had his hands too wide -- which resulted in holding calls. Pass protection in general was a work in progress, but that didn't stop Iupati from being an immediate starter at guard for San Francisco.

And although he had (and still does have) some learning to do, Iupati has steadily improved throughout the season. As a run-blocker, he is already outstanding. He moves and pulls extremely well, often engulfs his opponent and is a finisher who enjoys burying his opponent. Pro Bowls are in Iupati's future.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.