Name: OT Gabe Carimi
Size: 6'7, 314 lbs
Expected Round: 1st
3 Cone: N/A due to sprained ankle
Career Stats: Click Here (4 seasons starting at LT)
Strengths: Road grading run blocker who hits with attitude and a mean streak. Able to hold the pocket in pass protection. Great at blocking down the field. Quick enough feet to handle bull rushers and most speed rushers. Solid bend to engage and contain pass rushers. Able to position himself to force speed rushers around the pocket. Succeeded against NFL level talent (Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Heyward, practiced against J.J. Watt).
Weaknesses: Can sometimes lose leverage and rise in his stance when trying to block high movement pass rushers (ie: blocking while shuffling in different directions). Very poor leverage from the two point stance. Sometimes overextends and gets twisted. Struggles to maintain leverage while moving in pass protection. Needs to work on his agility to succeed at LT in the NFL. Struggles against elite speed rushers, which might force him to the right tackle position.
Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!
Why the Patriots?: Carimi provides a few things the Patriots are looking for: 1) Versatility with his ability to play both tackle and guard positions; 2) Experience with four seasons at left tackle; 3) Smart player who understands defenses and how to counter. He can be the tackle of the future at either side and, as he gets older, he can move to the interior. The fact that he gets by with a lot of brute strength at times, as opposed to technique, means that he has some upside as he learns how to better play the tackle position.
Why Not the Patriots?: Carimi will be one of the first tackles off the board and that means he'll cost the #17 draft pick. if there are other players around (DEs, OLBs) of higher priority and grade, Carimi may be passed over. Also, some will question his upside as it seems like his flaws (agility, shuffle speed) need to be earned, as opposed to learned, and his body may be maxed out.
Verdict: I think Carimi fits the Patriots very well. He can play many spots on the offensive line, he brings a great attitude for a lineman and should fit right in, he can improve the run game, he can help out in the passing game, and he does have some upside (even if it's slight). Carimi is worth a top 25 pick and while the Patriots may not take him at #17, if they trade down to the 20s, he'd be a great pick. Some question his upside, but I think he's a proven player who can become much better with improved technique.
Gabe Carimi vs Iowa (Adrian Clayborn)
Gabe Carimi vs Ohio State (Cameron Heyward)
Also of note: Carimi has an extremely similar draft profile to Sebastian Vollmer. Both were critiqued for playing high in their stance at times. Both needed better footwork. Both needed to work on their technique. Oh, and CBS compared them both to the same player in the NFL (Titans OT Michael Roos). Vollmer's turned out alright.