Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin Badgers
Gabe Carimi's biggest strengths are his run blocking and his, well, strength. He's a powerful blocker who withstands bull rushers quite well. He does well getting into the second level and is a real asset in the running game. He shows good quickness and shows good initial contact. He stays on his blocks well and holds his own against the more powerful defenders. He isn't the greatest pass blocker in the game, but he is good enough not to be a liability. He'll get beat by edge rushers, but he does a good job of picking up his man and sticking to his assignment.
The weakness that stands out most to me when watching Carimi is that he can get beat on the edge. He isn't the most agile athlete and pass rushers are able to get under his pads too often. Adrian Clayborn was able to get by him on the edge, as evidenced in the video below, and overpowered him on a few occasions last season, although overall strength is not much of a concern for Carimi. Unless concerns in his pass blocking are overcome, Carimi will likely be put at the right tackle spot. Carimi could also stand to work on gaining leverage on defenders. He is a little stiff in his movement and needs to get lower by bending his knees more.
Carimi won the 2010 Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top interior lineman, and was a consensus All-American. He was also named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2010 and was a consensus All-Big Ten selection..
Potential NFL Team, Round
Carimi is not lacking in confidence and has made clear that he believes he is the top tackle prospect in this year's draft. Whether NFL teams agree is yet to be seen come draft day, but Carimi later claimed that scouts agreed with his assessment. Nevertheless, I see Carimi as a second round pick. There's always the possibility that a team like the Indianapolis Colts or Philadelphia Eagles like him at #22 or #23, respectively, or that a team lower in the first round gives him some consideration like the New England Patriots (#28) or Pittsburgh Steelers (#31).
I'm not one to read too much into pre-draft meetings, but Carimi recently met with the Buffalo Bills, who could use a tackle with Demetrius Bell, of whom reviews have been mixed, largely considered an ongoing project at left tackle. The Bills are likely to go with A.J. Green or one of the several top defensive prospects with their first round pick (3rd overall), so targeting a player like Carimi in the second round makes a lot of sense even with Buffalo's multitude of needs. There are some that have Carimi falling into the third round, but I find it hard to believe that he makes it out of the second.
Danny Hobrock, is a sports journalist covering NCAA Football and MLB. An NCAA Football On-Air Personality, Danny is the editor of our college football content. Danny's college football work has garnered national attention and has been critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ DannyHobrock
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