Many of you have heard the name Gabe Carimi a lot recently as an option for the Eagles with their first hand draft pick. In the last four years at the University of Wisconsin, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the lineman develop into a top-notch offensive tackle. Due to his physical prowess (6-foot-7, 314 pounds), versatility and grinding mentality, Carimi is a great fit for the struggling Philadelphia Eagles offensive line.
In his senior season, Carimi won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top interior lineman. He anchored the left side of the line along with guard/center prospect John Moffitt. They led the way for the nation’s most dominant running game, led by John Clay, Monte Ball and James White. If you look at film, Carimi is always one of the first players in the secondary blocking for his backs, something the Eagles lineman always seem to fail at when blocking for LeSean McCoy.
One of the bigger concerns for the Wisconsin native is his speed. Can he handle blocking for Michael Vick, who requires speedy offensive lineman to keep up with him? Carimi is not the fastest, but he makes up for it with his intelligence and never-give-up mentality.
In his senior season alone, Carimi faced a number of NFL-ready defensive ends, all of which he had success against. For Iowa it was Adrian Clayborn and for Purdue it was Ryan Kerrigan, who are both top-5 defensive ends heading into the draft. He also matched up against Cameron Heyward from Ohio State, ranked as a top-8 defensive end. In his junior season, he was forced to contain current Eagle and then Michigan standout Brandon Graham. Case point: he has the experience against NFL-ready defensive linemen and he has had success against all of them.
During the Senior Bowl, Carimi also tried out left guard. He said he would be willing to make the conversion to the next level, which might as well be music to the ears of Howie Roseman. For an Eagles offensive line that may lost Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles to free agency, getting a top-tier offensive lineman is a must.
The combination of his experience as the best run-blocking offensive lineman in the country with his work ethic and willingness to convert to guard if need be, Gabe Carimi is the right fit for the Eagles. If he happens to fall to the Eagles in the 20’s of the first round, then I think it is a great pick considering the struggles the Eagles have faced at that position. Call me biased, but he certainly was fun to watch at Wisconsin.
Watch Carimi (#68) match up with Adrian Clayborn (#94) on the left side of the O-line
Carimi (#68) vs. Cameron Heyward (#97)