Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin, 6’8, 320
National Rank- #2
There is no surprise that the Wisconsin Badgers have another top tier offensive tackle coming into this years draft. The Badgers seem to produce some of the best offensive lineman in football and their success translates directly into the NFL. Gabe Carimi is another one of those offensive tackles that is shaping up to be a franchise lineman for whichever team can land him. A true anchor that can hold down the line, and make an instant impact.
Carimi is a beast of an offensive tackle. A run blocking machine that can plow through any defensive line and make huge holes for the runner. A very similar player to another Wisconsin alumni, Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns. Standing at 6’8 and 320 pounds, he is just difficult to get around to begin with, combine that with excellent football IQ and some quick feet, making him nearly impossible to pass.
Wisconsin is famous for its ground game, and that is where Carimi excels. He just pushes forward and everyone else goes with him. He can simply take over a whole side of a defensive line, and is regarded as one of the best run blockers in college football. Drafting Carimi could totally turn around the Eagles sub-par offensive line, and make them a legitimate problem for defenses.
A great blocker at the second level, as if he gets the chance, he will be running stride for stride with his running back. Throwing blocks 20+ yards down the field, and really making a huge impact on the rushing game. If LeSean McCoy was as good as he was last season, imagine what could happen if Andy Reid decided to take Carimi with the Eagles first round pick?
The only negative to Carimi is his quick response and ability to react to the faster defensive ends. He is nearly flawless when having to block downfield and against the blitz, but there have been some doubts when forced to pass block against quicker defensive lineman. When Carimi get’s burned, it could create a huge problem for Michael Vick in the backfield. The Eagles have had enormous problems with not being able to block fast defenses, and if Carimi struggles, so will the rest of the team.
One more issue is that Carimi is listed as a left tackle coming into this draft, but more than likely he will be bumped over to right tackle. It would seem like he would have a smooth transition over, but that’s not always the case. The Eagles could draft Carimi and bump him over to right tackle, and if he struggles with his footwork and the overall speed on the right side, it could make the Eagles defense worse than it already is. It would be gamble to put him on the right side, and it would be safe to keep him on his natural position.
There is no doubt that Carimi would be an instant upgrade to the Eagles offensive line, and it’s a part of the Eagles team that must improve if they want to be contenders next season. It’s going to be simply impossible to win without any improvements being made for McCoy and Vick. Reid knows that he has been skating by the offensive line issue and pushing it under the rug for several seasons, and Carimi is just too good of an offer to pass up.
The Eagles should pull the trigger on Carimi if he is still available. He may not be Dez Bryant, but he would have a huge impact on the Eagles offense.
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