Iosua Opeta 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Iosua Opeta
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Offensive lineman Sua Opeta of Weber State in action during day two of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Overview
Position
: Offensive guard
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 301 pounds
School: Weber State Wildcats

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 5.02 seconds (fifth-best among offensive linemen)
Bench press: 39 reps (best at 2019 Combine)
Vertical jump: 33.0 inches (fourth-best among offensive linemen)
Broad jump: 9 feet, 4 inches
Three-cone drill: 8.06 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.94 seconds

Iosua Opeta 2019 NFL Draft Profile

As a player whose college career was spent at an FCS school, Iosua Opeta was certainly far from a household name among offensive line prospects. He came to the Combine in Indianapolis looking to burst onto the radar of teams looking for an infusion of talent at guard and, for the most part, succeeded in doing so. The raw strength that he displayed is undoubtedly worth noting. Opeta put up 39 bench press reps which were the most of anyone at the event regardless of position.

The Stansbury Park, UT native initially played on the other side of the football. He made 74 tackles and five sacks during his senior year of high school earning honorable mention all-state recognition. He continued to do so during his redshirt freshman season at Weber State, making four starts as a defensive tackle. The following spring, however, saw Opeta begin to make the transition to the offensive line. The rest, they say, is history.

Opeta went on to start all 39 games over the next three seasons. His stellar play on the line helped the Wildcats win two straight Big Sky titles in 2017 and 2018. In both seasons, the team made it to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs while Opeta garnered first-team all-conference notice. He was a team captain as a senior and closed out his career by getting named to the Associated Press FCS All-American second team.

Strengths

  • three solid years of starter-level reps;
  • functional as a blocker when climbing into the second level;
  • does a good job plugging the gaps against interior speed;
  • consistently stays square to his blocking target with adequate mirror;
  • looks fairly athletic when blocking in space;
  • immense upper body strength as indicated by Combine testing;
  • a durable prospect who should be able to hold up against next-level physicality;
  • looks the part of a leader and strong locker room presence.

Weaknesses

  • needs to bulk up a bit to become a factor at the next level;
  • footwork when moving laterally is choppy;
  • needs to use his hands with more punch and ferocity;
  • doesn’t show play strength necessary to counter elite level power rush;
  • struggles to drop his weight which hinders his ability to generate leverage;
  • hands and feet are oftentimes out of whack;
  • read and react instincts when diagnosing exotic blitz moves needs polishing.

NFL Comparison: Kelvin Beachum

Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins

Projection: Sixth to seventh round

Bottom Line

A three-year starter who developed into one of the top offensive linemen at FCS level, Opeta certainly offers value as a developmental project. There’s no doubting his power if his bench press numbers at the Combine are any indication. If he can learn how to successfully harness that power, he has a legitimate chance of making an impact at the next level.

But Opeta is ostensibly raw and in need of a lot of work. He plays too upright which essentially gives the leverage battle to the player he’s blocking. His hand usage is subpar and it’s a significant question mark as to whether he’ll be able to win at the point of attack against interior defenders with violent, active hands. It’s also uncertain as to whether his instincts in pass protection can hold up against the exotic looks he’ll see in the pros.

In the end, Opeta should be available late on day three of the draft and it’s possible he signs with a team as an undrafted free agent. But history has proven that’s far from a dealbreaker. If Opeta can clean up the elements of his game that need refining, he has every chance to make an NFL roster and shore up a given team’s depth at guard.

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