Gabe Carimi draft capsule

Gabe Carimi draft capsule

Gabe Carimi, Offensive Lineman
Height: 6-7 Weight: 314 College: Wisconsin

What they say about Carimi

CBSSports.com

Overview
It didn't take much to convince Carimi to become a Badger. The Cottage Grove, Wis., native was a Parade All-American who wanted to be the next in a long line of great offensive linemen to roll through Wisconsin.

After redshirting in 2006 to add weight, Carimi was thrown into the fire as the replacement for left tackle Joe Thomas, who was drafted No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2007. Carimi started all 13 games that season on the blind side, where he would anchor the Badgers' offensive line for 49 starts over four years.

By his junior season, Carimi began to garner national attention and was selected first-team All-Big Ten by the media and was a second-team choice by the coaches. That catapulted him into 2010, when he helped the Badgers average 5.47 yards per carry and 245.7 rushing yards per game.

When Carimi says he's the best offensive tackle in the 2011 draft, he has the hardware and resume to back up his claim. The Outland Trophy winner has faced Adrian Clayborn (Missouri), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue) and Cameron Heyward (Ohio State) - pass rushers who are all projected as potential first-round picks this year by NFLDraftScout.com. He also squared off against teammate J.J. Watt in practice on a daily basis.

"I have a better resume of going against better talent than anyone else, so that makes me more (pro) ready," Carimi said at the scouting combine. "I'm physically stronger and have more career starts and better knowledge of the game than any other tackle out there. That's while I'm the No. 1 tackle."

Boston College's Anthony Castonzo actually had 53 career starts, but Carimi's point is well made nonetheless. He has the size, toughness, strength and confidence to play very early in his career.

The question is where that will be. Carimi wants to play left tackle, but could be a better fit on the right side. He also said he "handled it better than anybody else" when he was among several tackles asked to take snaps at guard during Senior Bowl week.

"I just used my natural ability and athleticism to play real well at that," Carimi said. "I've been in a pro style offense for four years. When you go to the Senior Bowl, you see how much more knowledge you have coming out of a pro style offenses versus the other tackles that were there at the Senior Bowl."

Carimi prefers tackle, and said no teams at the combine talked to him about moving to guard.

"Obviously, I think I can play left tackle," he said. "It's up to the organization what their needs and wants are."

Analysis
Pass Blocking: Has the elite agility and nimble feet to protect the quarterback's blindside. Very difficult to turn the corner against because of his lateral movement and solid footwork. Also protects the inside lane well. Delivers a strong hand punch capable of knocking back an opponent, and is able to recoil and extend again. Uses his length to block his man with one hand and knock an edge blitzer off his path with the other. Quick to cut on bubble screens and reverses, though he could get more of his man's legs to be truly effective. Bends at the waist while engaged; usually holds on to prevent secondary rush but will also end up on the ground too often.

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.

Pullingtrapping: 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.

Compares to: Michael Roos, Titans -- Roos might have been a first-round pick, as Carimi is projected to be, if he had played at Wisconsin instead of Eastern Washington. Like Roos, expect Carimi to get a shot on the left side because of his toughness despite lacking exceptional athleticism.

National Football Post

Carimi might not be the be the most athletic tackle in this draft but when its all said and done he may be the best overall tackle. Gabe is a 5th year senior. He redshirted his freshman year but then became a four-year starter at left tackle, starting a total of 49 games.One thing that helps Carimi is that he has played in a pro-style offense his whole career. He plays mostly from a 3-point stance but at times will play from a 2-point. He has a comfortable stance with his feet flat and his butt low. He has very good snap reaction and initial quickness. As a run blocker he gets into his block quickly and shows explosive snap on contact. He has a natural hip roll and he is always driving his feet. He is very physical and aggressive as a run blocker and consistently looks to finish. He has the athleticism to play in space and make blocks at the second level. He does a good job adjusting to movement and always takes good angles.In pass protection he is able to set quickly and is efficient cutting off wide speed. He has a strong punch and is consistent with keeping his hands inside. Carimi has good natural bend and is excellent when taking on bull rushers. He shows good mirror ability versus counter moves with his quick feet and ability to redirect. He has very good awareness and patience and wont get fooled when his opponents try different blitzes.Overall, there are some tackles in this draft that have a little better athleticism and may pass protect a little better but no one has the combination of run blocking, pass protection and nastiness as Carimi. Tyron Smith is the most talented tackle in this class but in my view Carimi is next. I love his game day demeanor and his overall focus. This player is going to be a very steady NFL tackle and play for a long time.WalterFootball
Strengths: Excellent run blocker Powerful Heavy hands Tenacious Very good size, strength and bulk Good straight-line athlete Intelligent; doesn't miss assignments Flashes an impressive play every so often in pass pro Quick in getting to the second level Adequate in pass protection to play RT at next level

Weaknesses:
Bends at waist too much - not a natural knee bender Lacks agility Not a smooth athlete - a little stiff Poor footwork On the ground a lot - gets unbalanced Struggles in space Lacks kneeankle flexion Hands need work Lets linemen get in his pads Very raw - relies heavily on sizestrength
Summary: Carimi will play in the NFL for some team and start at right tackle. He is byno means a left tackle and I will be shocked if he is drafted in the first round next year. Carimi has size and he is a powerful run blocker, but lacks the athleticism, technique andconsistency for him to be even discussed as a first-round talent. I think he is a second- or third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and I currently have a third-round grade on Carimi.

Player Comparison: Jeremy Trueblood: Trueblood and Carimi both have similar body types andare punishing run blockers. However, Trueblood is just a solid starter at right tackle for Tampa Bay, and I think that is the most we can hope for out of Carimi in the NFL.

Sideline Scouting

Positives: Good athlete... Very solid pass protector... Ideal size with long arms... Very good strength... Reasonably good anchoring strength, holds up to bull rushers well... Reasonably good lateral movement and slide... Good position blocker, takes good angles... Stays on his blocks, works to finish, adjusts reasonably well... Does a nice job staying in front of defender... Uses his hands well, good forceful punch... Can control and manhandle defender once locked on... Good upper body strength... Good power... Very good run blocker... Very solid drive blocker... Gets off the line reasonably quick and with good explosion... Can open holes in the running game... Can get to the second level, can seal linebackers from the action... Breaks down reasonably well in space... Does a nice job hitting moving targets... Tough, possesses a mean streak... Confident... Will be an early starter at Right Tackle in the NFL.

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 establishing an anchor and maintaining his balance better... Will stop his feet on contact in pass protection... 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... While not bad, he does struggle a little to stay low when firing off the ball when run blocking, allows his body to get ahead of his feet... Gets a little too narrow when run blocking... Doesn't always get great movement in the running game... Some medicaldurability issues concerning his knee.

Bears establishing smash-mouth core with Jordan Howard

Bears establishing smash-mouth core with Jordan Howard

Eric Kush was in some pain after the Bears win over the San Francisco 49ers. But it was a “good” pain, particularly since part of it was inflicted by a teammate.

The teammate was running back Jordan Howard, and the Bears left guard was learning along with his linemates that when Howard is coming, “he’s a-comin’,” Kush said.

“Oh man, sometimes you’re, ‘[groan-groan-groan], and he’ll hit you right in the back, you fall and try to take your guy down with you and stick him in the snow so you’re not the only one getting soaking wet and cold. But Jordan’s a lot fun and we try to kick some butt for him.”

The rookie running back has become more than simply a draft nugget from the fifth round of this year’s draft. Howard has established himself as an integral part of a winning formula of complimentary football, the concept long favored by John Fox, Lovie Smith and coaches who operate from the foundation of a premier running game, impact defense and solid special teams.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The Bears’ three wins have come this season in the only games in which Howard has been given 20-plus carries: 23 vs. Detroit, 26 vs. Minnesota, 32 vs. San Francisco. Add to those the 3 pass receptions against the Lions and the 4 against the Vikings and the true centerpiece of the 2016 Bears offense is more than a little apparent.

For obvious reasons beyond simply the rushing numbers.

“Especially pass protection,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “I think he's taken a big jump that way. When you're young in this league, those are the things that can get grey for you. You run the football, he's obviously a talented player there, but in pass pro, he's made his biggest growth.”

As a corollary to Howard, San Francisco was only the second game this season in which the Bears called fewer than 30 pass plays (the only other time was at Green Bay, when the Bears only ran a total of 45 plays, 27 of them pass plays). In that respect, the snow was viewed as an ally by some in the locker room who have been unhappy at the run:pass balance, which was just 36-percent-run coming into the 49ers game.

“It was one of these games where, with the weather, we couldn’t pass the ball like we normally do —  30 times — so we had to keep it on the ground,” said one member of the offense.

Howard’s breakout game as an NFL ball carrier came against the Lions (23 carries, 111 rushing yards, 3 receptions). The Bears, looking for a breakout of their own in the form of a first two-game win streak in more than a year, are expected to keep it simple — and in Howard’s hands.

“I always expected a lot out of myself,” Howard said. “I didn’t really think that things would happen maybe this soon or this fast. I’m definitely grateful for it.”

Bears looking into Teryl Austin’s past for clues on how Lions will scheme vs. Matt Barkley

Bears looking into Teryl Austin’s past for clues on how Lions will scheme vs. Matt Barkley

The adage “play the man, not the board” seems somehow appropriate for what the Bears are doing to prepare for the Detroit Lions behind quarterback Matt Barkley.

“The man” is Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, and the Bears have been scouting him as well as his defenses, beyond just Bears games, beyond this season and last, taking in his 2014 Detroit season when Austin prepared defenses for Jay Cutler and Jimmy Clausen.

How did Austin scheme for rookie Carson Wentz when the Lions played (and beat) the Philadelphia Eagles? How did he structure is defense to stop a rookie Teddy Bridgewater when Detroit played Minnesota? (Not very well, apparently, since the Vikings won both games and scored 54 points combined in the two games).

While the John Fox Bears staff went against Austin’s Lions defense twice last year, Cutler was the Bears quarterback. When the Bears beat Austin and the Lions two months ago, it was with Brian Hoyer.

Now the Bears quarterback is Matt Barkley, who has fewer NFL games played (seven) than Cutler has NFL seasons (11), Hoyer (eight), too, for that matter.

“Different defensive coordinators attack young quarterbacks differently,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “Some guys blitz, some guys play a bunch of zone. This group on defense there, they have a really good defensive coordinator, they're really smart, they do a bunch of stuff. On the back end, they run all the coverages.

“As a game, we'll have to make adjustments as the game goes and see what their plan to come out is early.”

Coaches and players may talk about how they prepare for a scheme irrespective of which opposing quarterback, running back, linebacker or whatever they will be facing. But in fact, preparations start with who is orchestrating the opponent’s offense or defense – play the man, not the board.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

A risk can be out-thinking yourself trying to anticipate what a coordinator will do. The first point, Loggains said, is to start with your own strengths.

“We definitely look at that,” Loggains said. “As you go in the league long and longer, you face these guys, you see them in crossover games. We always know how a guy attacks a rookie quarterback or attacks a young quarterback, a veteran, or, in Matt's case, a guy who hasn't played as much.”

Evaluations of Barkley’s performance will broaden, particularly now that he is on tape for defensive coordinators to scheme for and scout. And while they are watching Barkley, the Bears are watching them.