Sports

Niners nab Iupati

Vandal joins Davis on revamped O-line

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Mike Singletary’s offensive line received a major makeover in a matter of 30 minutes.

The San Francisco 49ers made sure they got their men, all right – first, Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis at No. 11 in Thursday’s NFL draft, then fellow offensive lineman Mike Iupati out of Idaho six picks later.

Both will compete to be starters as rookies come training camp this summer, Davis at right tackle and Iupati at left guard.

“Do I expect them to start? Yes I do,” Singletary said. “We’re hoping that soon they can work their way in there. That’s why we brought them in here.”

The Niners pulled off a trade with the Denver Broncos to move up two spots and secure Davis, one of the top lineman prospects.

Davis and Iupati fill perhaps the team’s biggest offseason need as physical run-blockers. The Niners’ inconsistent offensive line has allowed an NFL-worst 150 sacks over the past three seasons. Running back Frank Gore and quarterback Alex Smith will be thrilled by the new additions.

Singletary described Iupati as a “devastating” blocker.

In Iupati, the 49ers acquired a prospect widely considered the top offensive guard in the draft.

He is one of the most physically dominant guards coming out of college.

“I just come off the ball fast and physical, so I try to attack my opponents,” Iupati said. “I can play anything. I just need the repetitions. I know I played guard in college and in high school, but I know I can transition outside if they need me. Anywhere the coaches want me to play, I can play for them.”



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