Regardless of whether Walter Jones retires or not, the Seattle Seahawks are expected to address the left tackle position with one of their three picks (6, 14, and 40) in the first two rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Oklahoma State's Russell Okung and Rutger's Anthony Davis are expected to be the first two tackles off the board, and when Davis was asked to describe what a "franchise tackle" is, he mentioned his potential predecessor.
"If you play a team with a good defensive end, it's like, 'Don't worry, he has him.', Davis said. "That's how I would describe one, like Walter Jones."
The Seahawks are expected to meet with all the top offensive line prospects this week, but two they've already met with are USC tackle Charles Brown and Idaho guard/tackle Mike Iupati.
Brown, who measured in at 6-5 and 303 pounds with 35 1/4" arms, met with Seahawks offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, who told Brown that he'd "fit in real good" in Seattle.
Brown said that playing for new Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll helped prepare him for the NFL.
"It prepared me a lot because Coach Carroll had NFL experience and Coach (Pat) Ruel had NFL experience and we ran an NFL-style offense so I think I will be pretty prepared."
When asked what he's stronger at, pass or run blocking, Brown said "Probably pass-blocking. I have long arms and I am pretty athletic in my set."
Brown discussed his familiarity and comfort in a zone-block system, while also mentioning that he hadn't given up a quarterback sack since Week 4 of his junior season, when he allowed one to then-Oregon defensive end Nick Reed, who now plays for the Seahawks.
In an effort to become more versatile, Iupati, an All-American left guard who measured 6-5 and 331 pounds with 34" arms on Thursday morning (Iupati says his arms are actually 35" long), is currently working on his left tackle technique with Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater.
"Yes, that's where the money is," Iupati said of the left tackle position. "I've been playing left guard all my career and it's (left tackle) something I have to learn."
Iupati said he played left guard "because I was quick and I like to pull and kick out those linebackers and defensive ends...I like to be engaged to a person real quick and I like to pull."
Iupati, along with several other offensive line prospects on Thursday, expressed his admiration for former Seahawks and current Minnesota Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson.
"I admire him a lot," Iupati said of Hutchinson. "I want to be like him. Gotta keep working hard."
Iupati feels he'd be a good fit in a zone-blocking system, and that the team that drafts him, would be "getting the whole package I think, character wise and the physicalness. I have a lot of goals entering the league and I know I will get most of them."
One of those goals is using his first NFL paycheck to help his parents move back to American Samoa.
"In Samoa, we had a house, had our own land. My dad was working as a mechanic at a company called C.P.T., and he was probably the highest-paid mechanic there. My mom was helping out at my cousin's restaurant, so we were decently well off family in Samoa.
"My parents knew there was nothing there, the opportunities were limited, so they wanted us to excel in the U.S., so they just dropped everything and moved here.
"My parents want to go back some day. They want to have their own house and live there. To build a house for them would be the biggest thing I would ever want to do for them."
As soft-spoken and polite as Iupati sounds, he knows when to turn not be so polite.
"When it comes to football, I like to destroy a lot of people", he said.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you'd like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.
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