With the 19th pick, the Atlanta Falcons take … Mike Iupati?

In February most all the mock drafts had the Falcons taking a cornerback. Then they signed Dunta Robinson, and the mocks moved on to Brandon Graham, the defensive end from Michigan. Now, with D-Day almost at hand, comes a new mock and a new name:

Mike Iupati, guard, Idaho.

That’s correct. On ESPN’s Insiders site, Todd McShay and Scouts Inc. now have the Falcons taking an offensive lineman. (Link requires registration.) And not the offensive lineman many have ticketed for Atlanta. McShay and Co. have Maurice Pouncey, the Florida center, going to Pittsburgh one pick ahead of the Falcons’.

What of Graham? Gone to Tennessee with the 16th overall pick, per McShay. What of Sean Weatherspoon, the Missouri linebacker some think would be a better pass-rushing upgrade than Graham and whom Don Banks of SI.com has the Falcons taking in Round 1? He’s not in McShay’s first round.

The other ESPN draft maven is the famous Mel Kiper, and he has the Falcons snagging Graham at No. 19. (Link requires registration.) He also has them taking wide receiver Andre Roberts from Citadel with their first pick in Round 3 and tight end Dorin Dickerson with their second Round 3 selection. And then, for good measure, he sees them drafting Iowa cornerback Amari Spievey in Round 4.

About Iupati: Scouts Inc. ranks him the No. 1 guard in the draft and the 16th-best prospect overall. (Link requires you know what.) The breakdown makes no mention of his capacity to play different O-line positions, which Thomas Dimitroff said last week is a key consideration for the Falcons. But Iupati is 6-foot-5 1/8 and 331 pounds, which is huge for a guard. So maybe he could swing to tackle.

And the key question: How do you pronounce his name? According to the Idaho Vandals’ Web site, it’s “e-U-pah-tee. “

And one thing more: According to ESPN The Magazine, you should have great faith in whatever Dimitroff decides to do. Aaron Schatz of Football Insiders rates the Falcons’ war room the NFL’s sixth-best. (Link requires yada yada yada.) Writes Schatz:

Head coach Mike Smith has plenty of input, but GM Thomas Dimitroff has pulled the strings since both arrived in 2008. So far, so good. Dimitroff’s first draft yielded QB Matt Ryan (Round 1), LT Sam Baker (Round 1) and 4-3 MLB Curtis Lofton (Round 2), setting up the team for years at three critical positions.

60 comments Add your comment

Newbomb Turk

April 21st, 2010
10:50 am

Mark Bradley

April 21st, 2010
10:52 am

Kudos, Newbomb Turk. And I actually know what movie spawned the name, “Newbomb Turk,” and also who played him. (Robert Wuhl in “Hollywood Knights.”)

Newbomb Turk

April 21st, 2010
10:52 am

woot woot! I’m gonna leave the drafting upto TD and cheer for whomever he selects. I have faith that he can put this puzzle together.

ICNDARK

April 21st, 2010
10:53 am

First?

I’d still rather see Spoon come to our D.

ICNDARK

April 21st, 2010
10:54 am

OK, I’ll take third then.

Matt

April 21st, 2010
11:01 am

THREE days of draft??? Not a good idea at all. The first round was already endlessly long and now that time drag is going to creep into the subsequent rounds and make them even longer.

ESPN needs to learn that just because something is going well, that they don’t need to make artficially MORE of it. Just like a 96 Team NCAA tournament, this is a bad idea!!

Mark Bradley

April 21st, 2010
11:02 am

I’m with you, Mr. Matt.

Bat Masterson

April 21st, 2010
11:02 am

Believing the guys running the show will make a good decision is new, and satisfying for me. Man you have been lucky at The Ted this year, last night must have been a blast. Maybe you are luckier than you make yourself out to be, Mark.

Mark Bradley

April 21st, 2010
11:04 am

I’m not that lucky, Bat. But I have seen four memorable Braves games in 15 days: Three last at-bat wins and Opening Day.

PMC

April 21st, 2010
11:07 am

You didn’t get “Holding 70″ enough when you saw Bob Whitfield?

Mike Iupati is a project. The best guard since Steve Hutchinson? Really? Because two guys that couldn’t perform up to standards consistantly the last several years (Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens) pushed that guy around like a rag doll at the senior bowl. He’s a holding penalty waiting to happen.

I’m sure he can throw some weights around but he’s not worthy of the 19th pick.

Worm

April 21st, 2010
11:07 am

? is MB, Can you play the Violin like Newbomb turk?

PMC

April 21st, 2010
11:09 am

If we get Amare Spivey and Dorin Dickerson I’d be Thrilled.

PMC

April 21st, 2010
11:11 am

Iupati is not going to be quick enough off the ball to play tackle period.

Colorado Dawg

April 21st, 2010
11:11 am

Mr. Iupati may very well be off the board before the Falcons get to make a pick. A number of folks out here in Denver love this kid and hope the Broncos take him to pair up on the left side with LT Ryan Clady.

All indications are that Iupati’s a beast and his versatility to play guard or swing out to play tackle make him more valuable than taking a center (all things being equal), and more valuable than Pouncey.

Scott Case

April 21st, 2010
11:15 am

Matt and Bradley-On the contrary, more draft is better. Space it out over three days. You are not watering down the talent pool like expanding the NCAA field. You are just breaking it up so you do not spend 12 hours watching the draft. It’s spaced out to be enjoyed in shorter samples.

Dawgs2010

April 21st, 2010
11:20 am

I wouldn’t mind at all if ESPN was destroyed by a terrorist attack and was eradicated from this Earth forever.

EW

April 21st, 2010
11:20 am

Ok MB, I could be getting ahead of myself here..but after last night’s hawks/braves performances I’m on a home team high…(not to mention yesterday was April 20th…I digress)…

What do you make of the huge sense of optimism following the Braves, Hawks, and Falcons??
Haven’t felt this in a LONG time with all performing well at once…and for once I have complete confidence in the Falcons front office to make the right move.. It’s good to be a hometown fan this week…

Mark Bradley

April 21st, 2010
11:22 am

It’s a little different, EW. Might take some getting used to.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

April 21st, 2010
11:27 am

I think they are messing up having the draft on thursday night it will have to compete with all those cool shows on the WB.

Kevin

April 21st, 2010
11:28 am

The player they need to draft is Taylor Mays from USC. He will be considered the best safety in the league within three years. He is big and he is fast. There hasn’t been a safety of this size and ability since maybe Ronnie Lott. If William Moore pans out as well, the Falcons could be set at safety for years to come. I feel that they could trade down in the draft and still get him and maybe pick up another pick in say the 3rd round.

FALCONS SORRY

April 21st, 2010
11:30 am

THOMAS DIMTROFF! MAN WE NEED TO MAKE A IMPACT IN THIS DRAFT YEAR! FIRST YOU NEED TO DRAFT US A DEFENCE! THEN YOU NEED TO DRAFT US A QB! FINALLY WE NEED TO DRAFT US A OWNER THAT AINT BROKE AND CAN AFFORD TO PAY HIS PLAYERS AND AINT SOME LOW DOWN SNAKE IN THE GRASS THAT CANT BE TRUST! I DONT THINK ANY BODY WOULD MIND TO MUCH IF WE TRADE CRYIN RYAN FOR SOME MORE DRAFT PICK THAT WE CAN SPEND ON BUILDING A SOLID D! THE BEST WAY TO GET YOUR SELF BACK TO WORKING AT MCDONALDS IS TO DO WHAT THAT SORRY ESPN TELL YOU TO DO! MEL KIPER IS A LITTLE SISSY PRETTY BOY THAT PROBABLY TOO MUCH OF A GIRLY MAN TO EVER PLAY ANY FOOTBALL LET ALONE KNOW ANY THING ABOUT IT! HE KNOW ABOUT AS MUCH ABOUT NFL FOOTBALL AS THAT JEFF SCHULZ AND THAT AINT SAYING MUCH BECAUSE THEY BOTH A COUPLE LITTLE GIRL! UGLY ONES TOO! MIKE LUPATTI IS PROBABLY A GOOD BALLER BUT THERE AINT NO SINCE IN DRAFT AN OFFENCIVE LINE MAN RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE DONT HAVE ANY BODY BEHIND CENTER THAT IS WORTH BLOCKING FOR! IT DONT MATTER WHO WE DRAFT BECAUSE AUTHUR BLANK WILL LIE TO THEM SOONER OR LATER! WE SEE THRU YOU BLANK AND THE PEOPLE SAW HOW YOU DID THE PEOPLES QB AND EVER OTHER PLAYER SEE IT TOO AND NOW NO GOOD PLAYERS WANT TO COME HERE SO YOU CAN SEND THEM TO PRISON TO COVER YOUR OWN SELF BLANK! GO DOWN TO HOME DEPOT AND GET YOU A 2 BY 4 AND BEAT YOUR SELF OVER THE HEAD WITH IT BLANK! WHILE YOU AT IT GET YOU A HAMMER SEE HOW MANY TIMES YOU CAN HIT YOUR SELF BELOW THE BLANK TO SEE HOW TOUGH YOU ARE BLANK! DRAFT US A OWNER THAT AINT BROKE DIMTROFF! OR A CROOK! OR STUPID! THIS TEAM CANT EVEN GIVE TICKETS AWAY NO MORE!

F-105 Thunderchief

April 21st, 2010
11:31 am

I’d love to see them add some beef to the offensive line. The only time before that the Birds sniffed decency, they started their first two drafts thusly, Warren Bryant, Mike Kenn. I like what Dimitrof is doing and trust he’ll add quality pieces.

Freddie G

April 21st, 2010
11:31 am

I have been saying for months that the first pick will be an offensive lineman and likely a tackle, because Sam Baker does not show he can stay healthy and also he was abused by Will Smith of New Orleans, and several rush ends this past season. A Tackle would be preferred to protect Ryan so I doubt it will be Mike lupati.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

April 21st, 2010
11:33 am

somebody is off their psychotropic meds
SORRY to point fingers

ArtyDodger

April 21st, 2010
11:39 am

FALCONS SORRY…after that tirade I don’t know whether to laugh or call the paramedics for you….get a life

GSU Eagle 91

April 21st, 2010
11:40 am

In TD I do trust…And Mike Smith, too….They will have a solid plan in place when the 19th pick is up on the board….And that is a good feeling as a Falcons fan!
Falcons Sorry..You are one illiterate dude….Not to mention worthless and stupid…

J.J.M.

April 21st, 2010
11:42 am

im guessing the falcons will trade up in the 2nd round and draft daryl washington

I am an idiot and know nothing

April 21st, 2010
11:48 am

Falcon Sorry, Wow you must be a product of the Atlanta School system, I am sure the teachers union is proud. How is it Arthur Blank’s fault that Mike Vick is a criminal? You can’t blindly support the man just because he is black unless you are the biggest racist in Georgia and that is saying something because I think you have alot of competition.

Hunting Dawg

April 21st, 2010
11:50 am

FALCONS SORRY = One flew over the cuckoo’s nest! I certainly hope that Atlanta goes to the defensive side of the ball with the first pick. One option is to trade down and get a couple of round 2 picks and use one on the D line and one on the O line.

teamguy

April 21st, 2010
11:52 am

I’m still hankering to see C.J. Spiller in a Falcons uniform. .dreaming, I know. .but that’s what us old dudes do.

eddy

April 21st, 2010
11:59 am

Falcons sorry: You are an idiot and should never be allowed to write on this blog again. As for the draft, if graham is gone, I think Spoon or trading down would be the best way to go, especially if we could trade down to 22 with the pats and pick u a 2nd round pick in the process. Even though I love Thomas we need to go defense.

Ted M

April 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

I’ve learned to skip SORRY.

1eyedJack

April 21st, 2010
12:12 pm

I saw this headline “With 19th pick, Falcons select … | Bradley” and thought, what a wasted pick. Just kiddin’ Mark.

I have always been of the opinion that you don’t waste your first round pick on an Offensive lineman unless it is a premier left tackle. Plenty of Pro-Bowl OL picked in later rounds.

SORRY is just that.

Walker, Texas Ranger

April 21st, 2010
12:13 pm

MMmmmmmmm, three days of Chris Berman, I must have died and gone to……..HELL! And Lord not a Guard, center maybe. I thought this guy got handled in some all star game I watched.

Matty Ice

April 21st, 2010
12:16 pm

Mark,

if we take Mike Iupati at #19, then we need to get an even higher first round pick to take Geno Atkins, DT-UGA. Atkins absolutley abused Iupati in Senior Bowl – Iupati was outmatched playin-and-playout in pass protection. Sure Iupati will get better but he is nowhere near a finised product now. Drafting a Guard or Center in 1st round should be used for rare instances when player is elite and a finished product. Pouncey fits the bill – Iupati does not.

waynester

April 21st, 2010
12:22 pm

Kiper’s picks for us are actually pretty good this time, but Iupati–not so much–Geno Atkins tore him a new one at the SR Bowl(now there’s a guy I’d love to see in a Falcons uniform).I’d definitely rather have Atkins in the 3rd if he’s still around, and grab a WR and/or TE later.
I know he won’t go away, but ya’ll please stop responding to that mentally challenged poster. It’s redundant to even point out how inane his comments are–so can we all agree to continue ignoring the ignoramus?

Ted M

April 21st, 2010
12:26 pm

Teamguy I’ve had that dream too. Even though he won’t be available when the Falcons draft, I still wonder if the Falcons would do the absurd and pass on him.

Walker, Texas Ranger

April 21st, 2010
12:26 pm

That’s right Matty Ice & waynester, it was Atkins that abused Iupati. It was on almost every down that Atkins went against him. It was like watching Big Ben at a sorority mixer.

Reid Adair

April 21st, 2010
12:31 pm

I haven’t heard this name come up before today, but if this is who Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith think the Falcons need at No. 19, I’m for it.

J-MAN

April 21st, 2010
12:38 pm

Mike Iupati is a beast and a beast in pig-tails so for any man to pull that look off has gotta be a force to be reckoned with.

Burt T

April 21st, 2010
12:48 pm

This is my “First” entry here. I just hope that this big guy, Iupati, does not pan out like someone else from Somoa that the Falcons drafted back in ‘77 – Wilson Faumuina – Played defensive tackle for 5 years – Tough guy – Played hurt with a lot of knee and leg injuries – I remember reading about the very sad thing that happened to him – He died at age 32 of heart failure – Only five yrs. after his playing days – Gained a lot of weight – His legs were so messed up – Couldn’t walk – He was one of my favorite players then – Always will be – So, no disrespect at all – Buddied around with Warren Bryant. Hopefully, this will not happen to this big guy, Ipati.

Greg

April 21st, 2010
1:07 pm

It would be a rare thing indeed to draft a guard that high. Guards typically come out of the lower rounds. Rightly or wrongly, they’re just not considered to be the high-skill, high impact kind of player that commands the big money. I see ‘Spoon or Graham going to the Falcons (assuming we don’t trade down to get a 2nd round pick). Or even Taylor Mays if he’s there.

How2fish

April 21st, 2010
1:22 pm

Burt T I remember Wilson his death was indeed a shame.As far as the draft..whatever TD and Mike Smith decide on is fine by me…never take the dice from a man with a hot hand.

PAPOOH

April 21st, 2010
1:23 pm

Here is your Atlanta Falcons draft for 2010, or what I feel they should do, or better yet, better do. Lol

1. Sean Weatherspoon OLB/MIZZ
3.Andre Roberts WR/The Citadel
3.Matt Tennant C/B.C
4.Daniel Te”O-Nesheim DE/WAS
5.Walter Thurmond CB/ORE
5.Ed Dickson TE/ORE
6.Earl Mitchell DT/ARZ
6.Andrew Tyshovnytsky OT/Fordham

Now that’s how it should go down. What do you guys think?

Ricky

April 21st, 2010
1:48 pm

SORRY……………….are you really Terrence Moore…………?

JB

April 21st, 2010
1:53 pm

Nice to see the national press thinking so highly of Falcons Brass. It took Arthur a few years, but he went out and hired some good NFL people….

Max Fetid

April 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

Iupati is a 15 year guy. Take him. We can pick up 2 OLB’s in the 3rd and 4th rounds and still get the center Tennant with our other third pick.

drunk dawg

April 21st, 2010
2:05 pm

Falcons sorry-

Put down the crack pipe loser. Seriously, you sound very familiar…….Terrance Moore???????????????

LLOYD CHRISTMAS

April 21st, 2010
2:25 pm

I got your draft right here.
1st pick—Pouncey
3rd– Carlos Dunlap
3rd– Brandon Spikes
4th–Aaron Hernandez
5th–Jermaine cunningham
5th–Tim Tebow
6th–Carl Johnson

Can’t wait to see ‘em in Atlanta, they are already familiar with the Dome.

EW

April 21st, 2010
2:28 pm

“familiar with the dome”…sounds like Falcons Sorry….