2011 Draft Profiles: OT – Gabe Carimi
Age: 22 years old
Experience: Senior (5 years)
Starts at LT: 49 games
Starts at RT: 0 games
Height: 6 feet 7 inches
Weight: 314 lbs.
Arm Length: 35.0 inches
Hand Width: 10.38 inches
Projection: Left Tackle
Projected Round: 1st Round
Combine Results (Pro Day Results)
40 Yard Dash: 5.27 seconds
Bench Press: 29 reps
Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches
Broad Jump: 109 inches
Speed: Carimi, like all offensive linemen, lacks blazing speed, but by running a sub-5.3 second 40 yard dash, he helped confirm that he is a generally good runner with enough speed to be effective as a lead blocker on screens. He was slower than his projection, but was one of the faster offensive linemen on the Coltzilla watch list. Considering he is still recovering from a bum ankle, it will be interesting to see just how much his speed can improve at his Pro-Day.
Agility: Scouting reports have this as the biggest concern for Carimi, and it is only a technical fault, not a natural one. Carimi has good lateral movement, allowing him to stay with some of the top speed blitzers in the Big 10, which features a number of first round prospects this year. He does not have amazing lateral mobility like Anthony Castonzo or Nate Solder, but he is good enough to dominate against top competition. The big negative that accompanies Carimi lies in his technique and footwork in lateral motion. While he has good speed and agility from a metrics perspective, he tends to have slightly sloppy footwork, leading to him giving up position. This concern originally had him earmarked as a “Right Tackle at best,” but the impressive nature of Carimi’s performance in the Big 10, and in practice at the Senior Bowl (before hurting his ankle) has brought him back to the top of many draft boards at left tackle.
Experience: Gabe Carimi is a 5th year Senior who started all but 3 games in his career, and all were at left tackle. He played in Wisconsin, which is generally lauded for the quality of its coaches and the linemen it produces. Also given that the Big 10 features some of the premier pass rushing talent, Carimi has a wealth of experience at a high level. Carimi won the 2010 Outland Trophy, given each year to the best offensive or defensive lineman in the country while also being a unanimous first team selection for the All-Big 10 team, as well as an All-American. He was voted as the Big-10 offensive lineman of the year, and was one of the major components that led to Wisconsin being ranked in the top 5 in the nation in 2010, as well as being #4 in scoring nationally. Carimi is also used to high pressure games, with a Rose Bowl appearance this past year.
Size/Build: Carimi is considered one of the most physically dominant offensive linemen in the draft, and his combination of a 6 feet 7 inch frame with 314 lbs. of bulk put him right in a sweet spot for linemen. He has the natural frame to carry over 310 lbs easily without compromising speed and agility as well as having significant natural strength to build upon. Carimi ended up being one of the top performers on the bench press, with a tally of 29 reps, which essentially confirms that he is a strong tackle. Carimi combines this strength with a “mean streak” which allows him to dominate defenders more often. He utilizes a combination of his strength, good response time to the snap, and good upper body strength and control to assert his will on defensive linemen. Unlike other first round prospects at offensive tackle, Carimi shows a very good combination of upper and lower body strength, letting him move fairly quickly while also being able to dig his feet in and anchor a line.
Pass Blocking: Carimi is not considered one of the elite pass blocking prospects in the draft simply due to his less than stellar footwork. It is for this reason he was originally projected to be at great right tackle. Luckily, he possesses enough natural quickness to makeup for sub-standard footwork, and unlike other prospects who simply are not physically gifted enough to overcome some of their shortcomings, Carimi’s main fault is a mechanical problem that experienced linemen and good technical coaching can remedy. Given the Colts are a finesse oriented team along the line, it is not a stretch to see the footwork problem start going away. Beyond that problem, Carimi has good vision of the field and can pick up blitzes with the lower body strength to effectively halt basically any frontal attack. Since he is 6’7, he is susceptible to short powerful defenders getting into his chest and driving him back right at the snap, but Carimi has good enough fundamental technique and natural strength to counter this tactic on a regular basis.
Run Blocking: Carimi is considered a beast as a run blocker. It is where scouting reports say he excels, and the type of blocking he prefers. The style Carimi plays with makes him a natural run blocker. He attacks the defensive line and gets a very good push off the snap. His natural upper and lower body strength allows him to push defensive ends off the line with his legs while utilizing his upper body strength to position defenders to open up running lanes. Carimi also has the natural speed enough to pull and trap even though tackles are not generally asked to do either in the Colts system. Carimi gets good body position on running plays, bending at the knees and waist properly to lower his towering frame below the pads of opposing linemen gaining leverage on the play. Carimi also displays a particular gift of being able to wrap up two defenders at once when linebackers blitz his gap. He can recognize a blitz through his gap and manipulate a defensive lineman as well as a linebacker sufficiently to clear the gap and allow a running back to utilize the B gap.
Health: Carimi missed 3 games in his sophomore year due to an injury, but had generally been durable through most of his collegiate career. He twisted his ankle during practice for Senior Bowl and is still recovering from the injury, which is why he did not participate in agility drills at the Combine. He is expected to fully participate at his Pro-Day, though. During an interview at the Combine, Carimi referenced his ankle injury saying it didn’t feel 100% at that point. He may simply be taking it easy so as not to aggravate anything, but if it comes out he has a little more than a simple twisted ankle, his draft stock could fall slightly helping to keep Carimi in range of the Colts pick.
OVERVIEW: Carimi fits what the Colts tend to look for in the draft generally. He is a hard working and intelligent prospect from a Big 10 school, which tends to be a favorite conference of the Colts along with the SEC. While Castonzo fits the style of the Colts better as the line is today, the need to shake up things on the offensive line has been a growing issue for a few years. We’ve seen larger and sturdier linemen coming to the Colts in recent years (Kyle DeVan, Jacques McClendon, Jaimie Thomas, Adam Terry), and with more pressure going on Manning to win without a running game, Carimi could offer the Colts the ability to shuffle the line to improve run blocking without sacrificing pass protection. Fans continue to look for a successor to Tarik Glenn, and a sturdy yet dominant lineman like Carimi could very well be an answer to that search. At the worst, the Colts will have found a significantly better right tackle and can replace Ryan Diem.
About the author
At the moment, I am just like every other dedicated Colts fan (I'm anxious for the season, and tired of the lack of news). On a personal note though, I am a Purdue student who happens to have a desire to write and a fairly deep passion for the Colts and statistics. As such, I am basically a troll. I have been to 38 U.S. States at least, living in a handful of them, and I've been to 6 other countries, living in England the last two years of High School, and then coming back to the US for University. I'm an introverted person, but on the bright side, that gives me more than enough time to lose myself in random projects, some of which really helps when trying to provide serious content on everyone's favorite NFL team.
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