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View Full Version : Graham flashes, Iupati crashes in Senior Bowl


Galax Steeler
01-31-2010, 09:15 AM
It seems that the players who created the most buzz during the week at the Senior Bowl had quiet games. Quarterback Tim Tebow did nothing to stand out, running back Dexter McCluster flashed on a couple of plays but also had a fumble, and guard Mike Iupati struggled mightily when he was on the right side. Meanwhile, Cincinnati receiver Mardy Gilyard, who was panned during the week, came up big in the game, catching a 40-yard touchdown pass over cornerback Javier Arenas in the North's 31-13 win.

Iupati had a strange game. He looked very good at left guard. On a touchdown run by Oregon's LaGarrette Blount (who looked great), for example, Iupati chipped on one of the defensive linemen and then made a block on a linebacker at the second level of the defense. It was a nice showcase of his strength and athleticism. When he moved to right guard, however, he struggled. He had two bad plays in a row early in the game and was flagged for an obvious holding penalty that negated a touchdown. He had a hard time both with power rushers - Tennessee's Dan Williams - and speed rushers, Georgia's Geno Atkins. Atkins, in fact, spun free of Iupati later in the first half for a quarterback sack. Entering the game, the announcers were raving that Iupati could play five positions on the offensive line. Maybe he can, but today he was only good at one - left guard.

Williams is another guy the 49ers could consider in the first round. Aubrayo Franklin likely will be retained this year, perhaps with a franchise tag. But the 49ers need to start looking for depth at nose tackle. This is an exceptional year for interior defensive linemen, but they will go quickly.

The MVP of the game - deservedly so - was Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. None of the South offensive tackles could stop him and he finished with two sacks and a forced fumble. Someone asked me if pick 17 is too high for Graham. I don't think so. Right now, he's considered a late first-, early second-round pick. Look for him to elevate like Robert Ayers did last year. Ayers, a defensive end at Tennessee, was picked 18th by the Broncos and played LB in Mike Nolan's scheme. Graham had 26 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks for the Wolverines in 2009. He also seems to be a little quicker than Ayers and perhaps a better fit at a 3-4 OLB.

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/49ers/archives/2010/01/graham-flashes.html

MasterOfPuppets
01-31-2010, 09:42 AM
the announcers were raving that Iupati could play five positions on the offensive line. Maybe he can, but today he was only good at one - left guard. gee i wonder if it has anything to do with playing left guard for years and never practicing at other positions....:huh:
if the guy was better suited at tackle, wouldn't you think he would have been playing tackle in college ? :doh:

groundhogday
01-31-2010, 10:09 AM
I thought Iupati looked pretty good. He had a couple mess ups but overall I thought he was shoving people all over and getting to the second level on a lot of run plays. He and Dan Williams battled it out quite a bit. I'm still real high on him. Dan Williams also impressed me but I'm still thinking OL needs addressed.

I liked that Jackson (FB) from VA.

supa_fly_steeler
01-31-2010, 11:32 AM
good now we can draft a defensive player, i still think we can get kyle wilson or earl thomas heck or even both at 18's and they could cherish at the position.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-31-2010, 12:20 PM
Entering the game, the announcers were raving that Iupati could play five positions on the offensive line.

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/49ers/archives/2010/01/graham-flashes.html

You have to take the Mike Mayock O line assessments and divide by 2 to make them realistic!!!

Last year, he talked about Max Unger being the best center and being able to play 5 positions. Mayock said Alex Mack was "on the ground too much" for his liking. EPIC FAILURE OF ANALYSIS.

The previous year Mayock raved about Gosder Cherilus and had him ranked something like #5 OT in the draft and a LT prospect. Cherilus has proved he only has the feet to play RT in the NFL.

They overhyped Iupati all week. Sure, he looks like a perennial pro bowl OG like Faneca or Will Sheilds was. But, Iupati doesnt look like he can play LT and I dont think he has ever snapped the ball, so he is a 3-position O lineman. Still valuable!!!

Chidi29
01-31-2010, 03:22 PM
I'm still all for Taylor Mays pick. Having his speed and sure tackling as the deep safety will allow Troy to play wreckless. He can only improve in coverage imo.

Hard to tell where any of the d linemen would project in the 3-4 cuz they were forced to to play 4-3 with no blitzing lame rule.

Mays? Sure tackling? Wha-wha-wha?

jonslow
01-31-2010, 05:50 PM
Graham was alright, but I was sitting next to someone in the pressbox who pointed something out that got me thinking. Graham did nothing but pass rush to the outside. He got his two sacks and three TFLs, but he also took himself out of almost every running play up the middle. He didn't showcase a rip, swim or spin move at all, and if he can't do that, I think he's going to end up as an outside linebacker. Personally, I think he's a great fit since he played there up until this year before putting on 15 lbs. Either way, I like him a lot. He just needs to show he can play end and keep contain on running plays.

steelerdave1969
01-31-2010, 05:53 PM
Maybe Chris Keomateau can make the move to RG and Iupati can stay where he is realisticaly the best at for a few years. I would love to get the chance to see what he does. The OT from Iowa would be a nice choice also I believe. But my heart is set on Secondary help myself, but the Michigan LB/DE Brandon Graham is really catching my eye(s) as well... but we will just have to wait and see I guess.

tony hipchest
01-31-2010, 06:45 PM
before the practices and game, scouts were already comparing graham to l. woodley. understandable, taking into account his school, position, size, and tackles for loss.

he was interviewed by tim and pat, weds on sirius (and i hope they continue to pimp him with a weekly spot leading up to the draft, like they did with woodley).

it seems all the knocks on him are the same as with woodley. i still remember pete carrol saying woodley would be just "average" as a pro.

he seems to have all the personality and confidence of woodley, too.

he scoffed at the idea of a TE being able to block him at the line, and when asked if they could beat him in coverage he asked with a laugh "have you seen anyone do it yet?

in about 30 collegiate games, he had almost 90 tackles for loss (3 pg average shows he is diagnosing as opposed to just reacting).

he said he can get up to 275 to play DE in a 4-3 but it was obvious he is looking to follow woodleys footsteps and play OLB in the 3-4.

very intriguing guy. i wonder how much the success of woodley will influence his stock.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-01-2010, 11:07 AM
Graham is roughly the same size as Woodley, but faster and quicker....although he doesnt play with the same strength or base as Woodley in the run game. Many give him the Woodley comparison because both played at Michigan, but I think he is more like Anthony Spencer of the Cowboys.

Gotta say I am liking Ciron Black as good value in the 3rd round to play RT or Guard. I still dont think he has the feet to play LT, but uses his big frame and arms well. Kind of like Loadholt did last year.

jonslow
02-01-2010, 11:37 AM
Gotta say I am liking Ciron Black as good value in the 3rd round to play RT or Guard. I still dont think he has the feet to play LT, but uses his big frame and arms well. Kind of like Loadholt did last year.

Good comparison. He came in looking a little top-heavy and was carrying a little extra fat. He showed at practice he can move people, but he can't move his own feet very well. His lateral footwork isn't very good and would be a much better fit at RG or RT. Personally, after what I saw at practice all week, I'd keep him on the interior of the line. He's a liability against pass rushers on the outside.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-01-2010, 11:48 AM
Good comparison. He came in looking a little top-heavy and was carrying a little extra fat. He showed at practice he can move people, but he can't move his own feet very well. His lateral footwork isn't very good and would be a much better fit at RG or RT. Personally, after what I saw at practice all week, I'd keep him on the interior of the line. He's a liability against pass rushers on the outside.

I watched Black closely last year and while some had him a top prospect, I saw the same feet that would not make him an elite LT. But, he uses his long arms and has really good technique in sitting down, kick sliding and punching to ride speed rushers wide, without turning his shoulders to let them counter with an inside rip.

I think he is tough to bull rush and big enough that any outside rush is a long run for the DE. I personally think he would make a solid RT at the next level.

Several guys disappointed me at OT. Scott got flat footed a lot. Ducasse is sloppy and plays too high, Sam Young I hoped would be a good RT, but is looking tall and slow like Garrett Reynolds. Kyle Calloway and Mike Tepper looked better than Young at this point.

I think the best OT's that I saw last week were Black and Capers.

taztroy43
02-01-2010, 12:46 PM
good now we can draft a defensive player, i still think we can get kyle wilson or earl thomas heck or even both at 18's and they could cherish at the position.

I would love those 2 guys on our defense!!!! :thumbsup:

Chidi29
02-01-2010, 05:39 PM
Sam Young has the weirdest looking build I've seen in a long time. 6'8 but barely over 300 pounds. Almost looks more like a center or power forward in basketball than a tackle.

Capers didn't really impress me, though I wasn't looking too closely and he had the "joy" of trying to deal with Graham, but I don't know why they had him at LT. Played RT at WVU and I can't imagine him moving over in the pros. Not quick enough.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-01-2010, 07:00 PM
Capers didn't really impress me, though I wasn't looking too closely and he had the "joy" of trying to deal with Graham, but I don't know why they had him at LT. Played RT at WVU and I can't imagine him moving over in the pros. Not quick enough.

On the contrary. Capers is a former TE with excellent feet, but from what I saw, he plays too high and still has trouble anchoring against the bull rush. A lot of the converted TE's dont have big enough of a lower body to withstand a bull rush and end up leaning too much.

Hall of Fame DE Bruce Smith always had trouble with Patriots LT Bruce Armstrong and Smith said the guy was tough to move because "he had a big muffin on him". Both Capers and Young need some sand in the pants to help their games.

Chidi29
02-02-2010, 07:27 PM
So why is Capers at RT? Is it because he's so bad in those other mechanical issues you mentioned? I know that he was a much better prospect, but Jason Smith was a TE turned LT. I think that was the case with Jason Peters (I know he was once a TE but don't know for sure if he played LT).

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-02-2010, 09:35 PM
So why is Capers at RT? Is it because he's so bad in those other mechanical issues you mentioned? I know that he was a much better prospect, but Jason Smith was a TE turned LT. I think that was the case with Jason Peters (I know he was once a TE but don't know for sure if he played LT).

Capers has good feet, but not sure why at RT instead of LT. I think he played primarily RT at WVU, so maybe he just isnt used to working from the left side. Maybe there were a lot of other guys that had played LT.

WVU used to and I think still does run a zone block system, so it requires athletic linemen. I dont think Capers is a good fit for the Steelers, but he is a good athlete for a big man. I personally didnt see a lot of guys at the Sr. Bowl that would be a good NFL LT for the Steelers.

Steely McSmash
02-02-2010, 09:43 PM
if the guy was better suited at tackle, wouldn't you think he would have been playing tackle in college ? :doh:

I've had that same thought. Does Idaho run a lot of power traps or something?

jonslow
02-02-2010, 11:36 PM
I've had that same thought. Does Idaho run a lot of power traps or something?

They always had Iupati pulling a lot. He pulled on a lot of traps and sweeps and tosses. I'm assuming they wanted their best blocker picking up a lot of the trash on those plays. He's really quick in that sense and has a lot of momentem when he's pulling. I would think playing tackle, he's be sealing off ends a lot more and not being used to his full potential.

mojawi
02-14-2010, 02:35 PM
Iupati is good, and he's more of a mauler which is what fills the bill here. The only thing is that he's being hyped as being a 1-2 round player and he's not that. He wouldn't break the lineup of a good passing team for a couple seasons. My humble opinion is that he'd be great value in the 3rd or 4th.

jonslow
02-14-2010, 04:36 PM
Iupati is good, and he's more of a mauler which is what fills the bill here. The only thing is that he's being hyped as being a 1-2 round player and he's not that. He wouldn't break the lineup of a good passing team for a couple seasons. My humble opinion is that he'd be great value in the 3rd or 4th.

You have to remember that value lies in the strengths of a player. Iupati is definitely a mauler and he's a great run-blocking guard. There are a lot of teams that need a big, athletic body to enhance the running game.

You can't honestly tell me that there are ten better offensive linemen that deserved to be drafted before Iupati. You're right, he's not known for his pass blocking, but based on his skill set, there is need and value in taking him early.

Yeah, maybe he's not a top 20 talent. Maybe he is. The fact is, interior linemen often get overlooked because they can't anchor a line at left tackle. That doesn't make him a third or fourth round talent. That makes him a guard.

Just my $.02