Mike Iupati: The New Steve Hutchinson
It has been called by many names:
Posion pill , Ruskell's blunder , and my new favorite "Hutch-Gate." Of course it is still a sour subject in Seattle, that being the loss of All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson.
Perhaps the biggest miscue to ever happen to the franchise, Tim Ruskell could not shake the mistake of losing Hutchinson. Since his loss, the Seahawks have gone from third in the league in rushing in 2005, to 26th in 2009.
Pass protection has also been an achillies heal to this team. The Seahawks allowed 41 sacks this season.
However, the Seahawks own two first round picks in the upcoming draft and they need to use these selections to help solidify the foundation of their team.
They should use one of them on guard Mike Iupati out of Idaho.
I watched him compete both in person against the University of Washington and I happened to catch him against Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl. The kid is legit.
At 6' 6" and 330 lbs., he may be rather large to fit Alex Gibbs zone system, but the Seahawks would be making a huge mistake by passing on a potential All-Pro guard.
No guard has had the same upside since, you guessed it, Steve Hutchinson in 2001. Hutchinson was drafted No. 17 overall, Iupati could be had at No. 14.
Both are very comparable to when they were drafted. Hutchinson listed at 6' 5" and 315 lbs. in 2001. Iupati is 6' 6" and 330 lbs.
Iupati has everything you need from a guard. He has very quick feet and fires off the ball very well. He can deliver pancake blocks with the best of them.
He was also a very good pass blocker, not allowing a sack in his senior season. However that is an area he could improve on. As of right now, Iupati is better than anything the Seahawks have on their roster.
Although many in the NFL want to move him to tackle, Iupati is a natural guard who is better apt to handle blitzing linebackers or help on the inside against a strong defenive tackle.
In my perfect world, the Seahawks would grab Bryan Bulaga with the sixth pick and solidify the left side with Iupati at number 14. Building a potentially dominant left side again could be the ticket Seattle needs for another Super Bowl.
The Seahawks need to address this situation up front if they want to start winning games again. A home run threat playmaker is great, but he will be unable to get yardage without some superb blocking.
Mike Iupati has the potential to make us forget ol' what's his name.
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