2010 Denver Broncos NFL Draft Player Profile: Idaho G Mike Iupati

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IDecember 21, 2009

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 1:  Idaho guard Mike Iupati #77 leads block against USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 1, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. The Vandals were defeated by the top-ranked Trojans won 38-10. (Photo by Kevin Terrell/Getty Images)
Kevin Terrell/Getty Images

After the Denver Broncos lost the most embarrassing game of the season to the Oakland Raiders at home on Sunday, I realized the team's biggest flaw was the interior of the offensive line.

Now this was not new news, as many Bronco fans have already pointed out that Denver's true weaknesses offensively have a lot to do with lack of experience in the system and a totally non-existent interior offensive line.

Led by veterans Casey Wiegmann and Russ Hochstein, the interior of Denver's line has a ton of experience.  What they boast in the experience category is outweighed immensely by their inability to help the Broncos' offense move the ball on a consistent basis, especially in short yardage situations.

Denver was unable to run the ball against Oakland, and it is not the first time they have been shut down on the ground this season.  Knowshon Moreno looked absolutely lost when running the ball on Sunday, and Kyle Orton was sacked three times.

The solution to these woes?

Denver must draft Idaho guard Mike Iupati at any cost and actually, the guy could turn out to be quite the bargain.

Iupati stands at 6'5" and roughly 330 pounds.  He is a mammoth on the interior line and he plays with a mean streak.  For the second straight season, he was named first team All-WAC, and was selected as a first team Walter Camp All-American for the Vandals.  Not to mention he was also one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top interior lineman.

The Broncos' first round pick is going to turn out to be a very high one, as Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears currently project to send Denver the seventh pick in the 2010 NFL draft as the final piece to the blockbuster trade that occurred this past offseason.

Obviously, Denver is not going to go after Iupati that early in the first round.  What appears to be the best option is to trade down with anyone who is willing, and take Iupati later in the first round if they can.  The only problem is going to be finding a suitor for that pick.

The Broncos do not need to trade down, as their top pick could turn out to be an elite level player like Rolando McClain or dare I say—Ndamukong Suh.

Either way, the Broncos' interior offensive line is absolutely dreadful, and picking up Iupati would be a step in the right direction.  Denver has lost whatever edge it had offensively, and they are failing to cash in from inside the 20. 

I have been all about bringing in Seth Olsen in the past, and I think that is a route the Broncos definitely will explore.  If Olsen can transition to center, and Iupati can be brought in to start at left guard, the Broncos will dance with joy.

Speaking of interior linemen, how about the performance of Denver's run defense on Sunday?  Another pitiful output.  The Oakland Raiders racked up nearly 250 total rushing yards against Denver, a number that is utterly unacceptable.

One player who may be able to stop that bleeding is Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody, who is an absolute space vacuum in the middle of the defensive line.  Cody demands two blockers on every play, and would give the Broncos a huge weapon defensively.

These are two players I have not been so high on early in the draft scouting process, but I think they are two players the Broncos need to look at acquiring come draft day, and they need to look hard.