Pros: Has very good size and strength. Does a good job blocking downhill and has potential as a drive blocker. Does a good job locking onto defender and finishing his blocks. Has a good mean streak. Initiates contact well. Capable blocking in space and getting out on the second level on screens. Is a load as a trap blocker.
Cons: Needs to improve his footwork and is not quick into stance. Will have trouble with speed rushers. Is a waist bender. Not a ﬂuid athlete and has trouble adjusting in space. Not as physically dominant as you expect with his size.
Overview: Tupou can be a load as a run blocker, but needs work in pass protection. He played the season much closer to 330 pounds and has slimmed down probably in hopes of continuing to play left tackle at the next level. A two-year starter at that spot at Oregon who's emergence prompted Max Unger's move inside. He was suspended for a game this past year for receiving a free meal and $100 from an agent. He himself reported the incident.
NFL Forecast: Tupou is basically a one-dimensional player that had his ﬂaws in pass protection masked by Oregon's scheme, which is a zone blocking spread scheme. He would fit nicely in the spread at the next level, but on the right side. I think he should bulk back up, but perhaps the slim down helps him improve in pass protection. But I doubt it. But before the slim down, I think he projected best inside. He just lacks the footwork and the quickness to work all that well on the edge. In a zone blocking scheme he could be a capable right tackle. I think outside, his potential is about on par with Langston Walker, who is just an average right tackle. He could be a solid run blocker, but limited in pass protection. Inside, I think his potential would be closer to Chester Pitts, who is one of the better guards in the league.
ATL Forecast: For the Falcons, Tupou would be a nice fit inside that could potentially challenge Dahl and push him. He probably would need to sit for a year, but could be ready to take over the starting right guard spot in 2010. But he also has the potential to work at right tackle as well. While he could be an upgrade over Clabo in the running game, I don't think he'd be as good in pass protection. But he'd be a solid developmental prospect that within a year or two should find a home as a starter at either guard or tackle.
Value: Tupou is a solid middle round pick. For a team looking at his upside, they could make him a nice third round pick.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.