But too often explosive defensive ends are able to reach the corner on his kick-slide, forcing him to quickly open up his hips and lunge into his target in an effort to push them past the play. Displays the ability to anchor with consistency against the bull rush and exhibits good power in his upper body once he gets his hands on you. Does a nice job moving his feet through contact and sticking to blocks and is much more comfortable when engaged.
Exhibits a good first step off the snap in the run game and is able to keep his pad level down much more consistently, creating initial movement as an in-line guy. Gets his big paws up quickly into contact, exhibits good hand location, creates a jarring punch and is heavy handed through the play. Likes to finish runs and plays with a mean streak. Looks comfortable when asked to seal defenders away from the play. Also, was pretty impressive in the open field for a guy his size, getting out to the second level with ease, reaching a target and sealing them from the play.
Impression: Isn't a guy who I would trust on the left side at this stage in the NFL, but he can win for you in the run game and looks more like a very solid right tackle prospect to me."
Run Blocking: Known as an athletic pass protector, but is a strong blocker for the Badger run game. Has strong upper and lower body builds despite his height. Plays with leverage against stout defensive ends and tackles on the edge, can get under their pads and churn his legs to move them down or off the line. Effective combo blocker, gets a hand on a tackle and still manages to push ends out of the play on strong-side runs. Leans or bends at the waist to latch on at times, will get shed and lose his balance.
Pulling/Trapping: Usually not asked to pull or trap from the outside, but down-blocks often and has the quickness and footwork to move behind the line. Gets his quick hands out in front to get a piece of inside defenders before moving to the MIKE linebacker. Can sustain blocks in space because of his length and nimble feet.
Initial Quickness: Elite first step in his kick slide and lateral movement, does not get beat off the edge very often. Also explodes off the ball on run plays, is capable of driving his man back a few yards. Defenders will take advantage of the quickness to take him upfield or knock him off balance, however.
Downfield: Excellent footwork and agility to get downfield. Reaches linebackers at the second level and defensive backs further downfield equally well. Knows the proper angle to cut off defenders from the ballcarrier. Good lateral movement once engaged, gives effort to sustain against smaller defenders. Tends to bend at the waist and punch instead of moving after initial contact.
Intangibles: Solid player with strong work ethic, as well as football and general intelligence. Received multiple Academic All-American and All-Big Ten awards. Missed three games in 2008 with right MCL sprain, but played through maladies in 2009: slight tear in right MCL scarring, left AC joint (shoulder) sprain, H1N1 virus. Fasted for 24 hours before 2008 game against Iowa in observance of Yom Kippur."
Movement: Tends to lose his balance too often. Must maintain a better base and get a more sound knee bend. When on the move, Carimi can lunge and miss a defender. Shows stiffness on his power step. Compensates for a lack of movement with power. Shouldn't be used as a cut blocker.
Pass blocking: Needs to be more stout as a pass blocker. Typically strong against bull rushes, but was knocked around at times by Iowa's Adrian Clayborn. The problem isn't in power base, but he doesn't always properly use it. Tends to let speed rushers get under his pads. Shows great instincts, due to his experience, to pick up counter moves.
Quickness: Is quick enough in the short area, but not long to the outside with his feet. Because of this, he can lose Has quick hands to win hand placement. Doesn't get his punch out quick to knock linemen around. Doesn't recover especially quick.
Run blocking: Carimi's strength is first contact with defenders in the run game. He gets off the ball pretty well and pops his opponents. Could do a better job finishing. He sustains fine but doesn't always close out with power and aggression. Is more of a latch-on run blocker. However, Carimi doesn't let go once he engages.
Strength: Carimi has NFL strength and should be able to be plugged into an offense immediately. Powerful throughout his frame. Has the strength to seal the edge.
Technique: Needs to maintain his base a little better. If Carimi can do that, he'll do a better job against speed rushers. Gets good hand position.
Final word: Being the guy who had to follow Joe Thomas at Wisconsin was a daunting task. Carimi, while nowhere near as good as Thomas, has done well. He's a power tackle best suited for the right side of the line. Carimi struggles some against speed rushers, but has good strength to anchor and seal."
Gabe Carimi can protect the quarterback at the next level.
Many wondered if Carimi would be able to handle the spot, being just a three star recruit out of Monova Grove High School. There were doubts up until the end of his redshirt freshman season after he started all thirteen games. Carimi evolved as a leader on the offensive line, and was a huge reason for the success of the Wisconsin running game who had multiple 1,000 yard rushers.
Carimi’s long arms are very much a positive for him going into the 2011 NFL Draft. He has exceptional upper body strength, and gets a great initial punch on the defender right off of the snap. He does a great job of keeping his hands on the inside, very rarely getting called for holding or even illegal hands to the face. In the run game, he finishes his block quickly, getting to the second level and making an impact. He seals the edge well in the outside run game, sometimes taking out more than one defender. He gets a good knee bend in pass protection, and comes out of his stance low, maintaining leverage.
Overall, Carimi’s weaknesses lie within his feet. His feet seem a bit too heavy at times, and he struggles to maintain a solid base in pass protection. Wisconsin wasn’t a heavy passing team, so he didn’t have to work on his pass protection nearly as much, and it seems to be somewhat of a problem for Carimi. His foot speed is noticed when facing speed rushers, although there weren’t many that he faced in the Big Ten. He tends to give up too much ground to quick edge rushers, as he doesn’t recover when being beat off the line quickly enough. It is worth noting that his footwork has definitely improved over the course of the Senior Bowl.
Gabe Carimi’s draft range is going to be interesting to track as we inch closer to the 2011 NFL Draft. If teams feel that he can be a great left tackle in the NFL, then he’ll be drafted in the 15-25 range. However, if there are too many questions, and they feel that he’s strictly a right tackle (the most likely), he could fall to the 25-40 range. I look for Kansas City, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Chicago, and Pittsburgh to give him a hard look in the first round. In the early second, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Arizona, and Dallas will be the likeliest suitors. If he falls to pick 40 with Dallas, he’s almost guaranteed to be selected.
NFL Comparison: Bryan Bulaga"
Positive: Tall, well-sized offensive tackle with a versatile game. Quickly sets in pass protection, blocks with a wide base, and immediately gets his hands into defenders. Has long arms, which he extends into defenders to ride them from their angle of attack. Keeps his feet moving, stays square, and blocks with good lean. Turns defenders off the ball, works to block with leverage, and shows good quickness on the field. Makes good use of angles and body positioning to seal opponents from the action.
Negative: Lacks top footwork and skill sliding out off the edge at left tackle. Overextends into blocks, which affects his balance. Does not get a lot of movement run blocking and struggles to finish. Cannot adjust to oncoming blitzers.
Analysis: Carimi was a force on the Wisconsin line since his freshman season and a terrific college tackle. He's flashed skill the past four years and most recently looked very effective very during Senior Bowl week. He has the size to be a right tackle and occasionally displays the skill to handle duties on the blind side. Carimi has the ability to start in the NFL if he continues to elevate his game."
Negatives: Inconsistent footwork in pass protection... Can be beat by speed... Bends at the waist, leans, reaches and lunges versus outside speed... Needs to work on maintaining his balance better... Doesn't always re-direct smoothly, especially on inside counter moves... Lateral footwork can get too long... Inconsistent kick step, either gets too wide or goes with heavy short steps... Has trouble on inside counter-moves... Gets too upright in pass protection, allows defenders under his pads, loses some battles for leverage... Struggles to stay low when firing off the ball when run blocking, allows his body to get ahead of his feet... Doesn't always get great movement in the running game... Doesn't possess the consistent footwork to play Left Tackle in the NFL."
Strengths: Carimi has ideal size for the position and long arms to direct the defender. He has outstanding functional strength. Can drop anchor and defend against the bull rush with consistency, and has the drive and power to excel as a run blocker. Is able to bury people once he gets control. Is effective getting to the second level and can destroy people there. Is surprisingly effective in space. Despite his limited athleticism, he is still agile enough, and has decent footwork, to be an effective pass blocker at the next level. Can use his long arms to steer the speed rushers around the pocket. Has a good initial punch and can deliver a strong, quick jolt that can keep the defender off balance. Plays with an edge, but doesn't lose control. Smart player who understands the blocking scheme well.
Weaknesses: Not an impressive athlete and can be beat by speed on the edge. His kick-slide is a bit mechanical and slowish, and he allows himself to overextend and get off balance. Might be a better initial fit at right tackle because of his strengths and weaknesses.
Projection: Will be one of the top two or three tackles taken in the 2011 NFL Draft and should make an immediate contribution as a right tackle and possibly develop into a long-term answer at left tackle."
A pure run-blocker with power and once he sticks a defender, he latches on and finishes plays with his strength. Although, he lacks ideal athleticism and footwork most NFL coaches are looking for in left tackles. Carimi tends to lean into defenders rather than using his hands and body position to his full advantage. He is considered a raw prospect who will likely need a year to develop; he is not a franchise offensive tackle. Things he will need to work on before heading to the next level: plays poorly in space and must learn the finer details of blocking technique to succeed in the NFL. Carimi is getting attention in a sparse year at his position for the draft.
The bottom line with Carimi is that he comes from a school known for producing tackles, but may not live up to those expectations. He is an NFL right tackle, but some teams may feel they can develop him and reach for him a bit in a year lacking elite tackle prospects. He will likely make a lot of first and second All-America teams due to his seniority and program, but his skills set doesn't match his talent."
The Badgers are well known for supplying big uglies to the NFL and Carimi is the next in line, a potential first round pick. He possesses prototypical size at 6’7” and 325 pounds, with the ability to be dominant blocker in both the passing and rushing attacks. In the rushing game, the soon to be senior is capable of setting the edge with seal blocks to get his back around the corner or leading the way with powerful drive blocks. When he gets his 325 pounds going Carimi can really push defenders back and overpower them—when he gets some momentum, it’s over. The All-Big Ten performer also possesses the athleticism to pull and make blocks down the field. He really has impressive speed for a man of his size when he is searching for defenders to block. The one aspect of his game he needs to work on is ability to maintain leverage, but he has this season to do so. The Wisconsin boy is also an outstanding pass blocker, with the lateral agility and footwork to handle speed rushers off the edge. While he appears to have the physical ability it must be noted that Wisconsin’s power offense was rarely in obvious passing situations, so the jury is still sort of out as far as Carimi’s pass blocking consistency goes."
Carimi can be tossed and torqued and tends to lean too much. Having too much stiffness in his body, he often overextends and does not finish blocks. He grades out like a third-rounder and would most ideally fit as a swing tackle, but he is functional enough to start in the NFL, as he did four years for Wisconsin, and likely will be overdrafted somewhere in the second round, potentially even at the back of the first if there is a run on big men."
Gabe Carimi doesn't have a very good Crouch, but he does command exceptional Power to drive the Run Game, and very good Strength to Achor against the Pass Rush. However, his Lateral Agility is pretty weak, though he does have surprisingly good Flanking Speed on Pulls + Traps for a Beast of his size.
He's got most of the tools, but his lack of Fluidity and Lateral Agility will limit him.
He doesn't warrant a 1st Round grade, any more than Solder or Castonzo.
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