When the San Francisco 49ers drafted guard Mike Iupati with the 17th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, they were clearly banking on his potential.
He didn’t play in the top powerhouse conferences such as the SEC, XII, or Pac-12, so it was difficult for scouts to get a solid grade on him coming out of college. Instead, they had to go with what they saw on game-film against WAC competition, and the selection proved to be the right one.
Now entering his third season, Iupati is having a career year. Dating back to last year, Iupati has been playing at a Pro-Bowl level and in my opinion was snubbed by Tampa Bay Bucs guard Davin Joseph, which I’m still upset about.
However, this year is a different story, as Iupati currently leads all NFC guards in the Pro Bowl voting with 148,154 total votes, and deservedly so.
Iupati is arguably the best guard in football. He’s an absolute mauler in the run game with the quick feet to pull. You will often see him throw defensive lineman or linebackers like rag dolls down in the trenches, earning him my nickname, the “Throwin’ Samoan.”
Numerous times you will see running back Frank Gore run for a big gain, but what the average fan tends to forget is the player who made that run possible, and more times than not it’s Iupati.
He’s a raging bull that no one wants to lock horns with, and if you do, you will lose! His ability to hit the second-level and knock down linebackers with no remorse is something the 49ers have been lacking in the past.
He may not get the recognition as guards Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks, or Logan Mankins, but make no mistake Iupati is just as good, if not better!
Bottom line, he’s the total package and the Niners are extremely fortunate to have his services.