Looking to fill Mike Iupati's vacant left guard spot this offseason, the 49ers are taking a long look at a Iupati look-alike, Utah's Jeremiah Poutasi. The 49ers were on hand for Poutasi's pro day last month and Poutasi will pay an official visit to the team later this month, a league source said.
Like Iupati, Poutasi is huge and powerful, measuring 6-5, 335 pounds at the combine with 34-inch arms. He had 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Iupati, by comparison, was 6-5, 331 pounds with 34 3/4-inch arms at his pro day in 2010. Both men's families are from American Samoa. The 49ers took Iupati with the 17th overall pick in 2010.
While Iupati played guard at Idaho, Poutasi mostly has been a left tackle at Utah. He went into the 2014 season thinking he would play guard, his most natural position, but the Utes' would-be left tackle suffered an ACL and Poutasi was forced to play outside.
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Most NFL teams are looking at Poutasi as a guard or a right tackle, and the 49ers are likely intrigued that he could do both.
With Iupati now playing for the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers will spend the offseason finding his replacement. Brandon Thomas, a third-round pick a year ago who suffered an ACL tear in the run up to the draft, is a possibility, as is free-agent acquisition Erik Pears. Joe Looney, Marcus Martin and Dillon Farrell, an undrafted rookie last year who showed promise in training camp, also figure into the mix.
Poutasi, meanwhile, has visits or workouts with 11 squads. One of the things that intrigues teams -- he's one of the youngest players in the draft and won't turn 21 until August.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.