The outlook along the Bears’ offensive line did not change appreciably if at all with Sunday’s trade of Gabe Carimi to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If there is any ripple of impact, it likely won’t show up until about a year from now.
The Bears received a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft for Carimi. Franchises do not turn on sixth-rounders, although the Bears have on occasion gotten something out of 6’s and 7’s: J’Marcus Webb, Lance Louis, J.T Thomas, Isaiah Frey, Al Afalava, Chris Harris, and they liked finding DE Cornelius Washington in the sixth this year.
What the deal does, however, is project to give general manager Phil Emery his first full quiver of draft choices since his hiring prior to the 2012 draft. He’d traded 3’s in the ’12 and ’13 drafts for Brandon Marshall and gave up a fifth-rounder in the ’12 draft in order to move up for wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, which has looked to be a solid pick based on Jeffery currently starting opposite Marshall.
Does Carimi deserve 'bust' label?
Classifying Carimi as a draft “bust ” is a little too easy and knee-jerk. Give him a little time.
Drafts of offensive linemen typically take time to fully assess, and the post-Bears career of Marc Columbo serves as a simple case study: season-ending knee injury as a rookie, sent on his way by the Bears a season later, then a serviceable career for a 29th-overall draft choice, which both Carimi and Colombo were.
Was Cedric Benson a bust? He didn’t work out in Chicago, then went to Cincinnati and had three straight 1,000-yard seasons. Colombo; out in Chicago, years as a starter for the Dallas Cowboys. Carimi?
Disappointment, yes; bust, not yet.