A pair of mocks: Gabe Carimi would be a scary pick

March 28th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi? I'll pass

We’re a month away from the NFL draft which means I’ll conduct about five more mock drafts before the event. I’m going to try and refine the first round projection from here on in, starting on Wednesday. That doesn’t mean I won’t prefer possibilities over predictions, but certainly there’s going to be fewer dramatic changes from now on.  

We’re also at the stage of the year when you can read a new mock draft every day. Today Chad Reuter and Rob Rang from NFL Draft Scout updated their projections. Both have the Seahawks drafting an offensive lineman, so I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on that.  

Reuter’s pick Mike Pouncey (OG, Florida): “Pouncey could play guard if Max Unger steps in at center, or vice versa.”  

Rang’s pick Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin): ”Pete Carroll preached a ball-control, run-heavy offense when he was hired in Seattle. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, age, injury and inexperience up front grounded their running game. They averaged only 89 rushing yards a game last season, which was 31st in the NFL. Carimi, a four-year starter at left tackle, lacks the elite athleticism to remain there in the NFL, which could push him into the second portion of the round. The 2010 Outland Trophy winner has the bulk, strength and physicality in the running game to star on the right side.”  

I can get on board with Reuter’s pick. For starters, the Seahawks take Ryan Mallett at #57 which at least offers some hope at the gaping hole called Seattle’s future at quarterback. At the same time, I think there’s little chance Mallett will drop that low (I have him as a top-16 pick with Miami a possible destination). Ignoring the second round for the basis of this piece, let’s concentrate on Pouncey. He’s not Maurkice, but he’s still very good. It’s a solid pick if (as I suspect) the top quarterbacks are gone and you’re left looking for a BPA situation at #25.  

Seattle’s interior line has been a mess for a while – specifically the day Steve Hutchinson departed. The Seahawks should be trying to keep Chris Spencer although that remains an unclear situation. A line involving Okung, Pouncey and Spencer would start to look like a strength. Extra veteran or draft stock at right guard and tackle would complete an improving unit. I don’t view guard as a key position but the Seahawks interior has been a problem area. Not the pick to get you out of your chair on April 28th, but understandable. Pouncey deserves to go in that 20-32 range.  

On the other hand, the prospect of taking Carimi makes me shiver with fear.  

Straight off the bat, I don’t rate the guy. I also don’t think it’ll happen. Yes the Seahawks want to run the ball and yes the play of Sean Locklear hasn’t been good enough. It seems likely he will leave the team whenever free agency begins and we’ll see a new starter at the position. That could be Stacey Andrews, who only this week Pete Carroll talked up as a candidate to compete at RT if they keep hold of his giant salary. It may be someone else.  

That someone else should not be Gabe Carimi.  

For starters he’s such a limited athlete. Watch his performance against a speed rush specialist like Fresno State’s Chris Carter. It’s not pretty. Clearly he’s well coached and he has some value as a run blocker. Yet if Russell Okung suffered another ankle injury – would you move him to the blind side? I’d have major reservations about that. His kick step doesn’t have the necessary width and his lateral agility is average.  

If you’re the Philadelphia Eagles with your army of playmaking talent, you consider Carimi. If you’re the Seattle Seahawks with major holes at every key position on the roster, you don’t draft a first round prospect who gets tight end support, blocks the quarterbacks strong side and simply is not a premium NFL position.  

James Carpenter, Will Rackley, Joseph Barksdale, Ben Ijalana. Why would you draft Carimi in round one and address much greater needs later on? That’s backwards thinking to me.  

If the team did settle on the right tackle position, I’d much prefer to see a Derek Sherrod type prospect. At least in a crisis you could expect the guy to do at least an adequate job on the blind side.  

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think Pete Carroll believes he needs two first round tackles – at least not enough to avoid a Jabaal Sheard, Brooks Reed, Jimmy Smith or a Ryan Mallett. John Schneider has come from a Green Bay side that never had high end elite talent on the offensive line, but certainly had big time playmakers on both sides of the ball. Green Bay’s drafting of Bryan Bulaga was as much a signal of their comfort at QB, WR, DL and CB rather than an indication of policy. When you have so many other key positions sorted you can draft the BPA in any scenario - even if that is a right tackle.  

Carimi won’t be the top player at #25 in my opinion, at least not in this proposal. His statement about being the top offensive lineman this year was about as convincing as a Nate Burleson guarantee. Even in a generally weak OT class in terms of top end talent, he’s substantially below Tyron Smith. I graded him as a late second round/early third round pick during the 2010 season.  

Bringing him in at #25 doesn’t really help the running game either – because you’re still looking at a soft interior. Maybe people may disagree with me here but I think guard and center are much greater needs on that line than a RT who will get tight end support. You can fill that position without spending top dollar.  

I’m not completely opposed to the Seahawks drafting an offensive lineman at #25 and admittedly I envisage scenarios where Pouncey is ‘the guy’. I struggle to see Carimi being an option though, especially at the expense of talented players at corner, defensive end and quarterback. Rest assured, Carroll means business. Plodding on at several other positions and adding a right tackle doesn’t seem like his style.

36 Responses to “A pair of mocks: Gabe Carimi would be a scary pick”

  1. Matt says:

    I’m glad you addressed both mock drafts. It’s downright scary to me how any fan thinks drafting a RT in the 1st (for the hawks) is the best thing to do. Like you mention, Carimi is so limited (as well as overrated) that he is strictly a RT.

    I firmly believe you do not draft RTs in the 1st round. *There is a difference between a failed LT moving to RT as compared to drafting strictly for RT. This point is only further cemented by the fact that the Hawks have so many holes to deal with. RT is the least of our worries in the grand scheme of things. To me, this sort of a pick is a cop out of taking “risk.” If such a pick occurred in the 1st round this year, I would have to say that most if not all my confidence in this FO would be lost.

    We’ve spent so many years in Seattle, playing not to lose in every facet of the game. On field, front office, you name it. This risk adverse culture has lead to some very good seasons and some horrible ones. The biggest difference is, the horrible seasons were not made up for with a Super Bowl. I’d like our FO to continue this trend of taking a chance rather than playing it safe.

  2. Ben says:

    I can’t say I’d be very happy about picking Carimi but couldn’t he also play OG? He certainly seems to fit the mold of OLman Cable should be looking for.

    • Rob says:

      Possibly, but I’d rather not draft a guy who might work out at guard when there are some nice round two options at the position. I still think it’d be an absolute steal if Seattle has a sniff of Rodney Hudson at #57.

  3. Guilherme says:

    Hello Rob, how are you?

    I was wondering: I read that Cable prefers bigger lineman, and is a great coach, but I’d like to know if his teams usually draft lineman in certain rounds (for example, Gibbs and his later rounds blockers), and how much influence will he have in the final say.

    Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      I think it’d be a tough piece of research, because we don’t know how much input Cable had to the picks. He may have fought against a lineman drafted early, or vice versa and had to work in that environment. I think it’s fair to say he probably had zero input in Oakland.

      With regard to Seattle, I’m sure the front office will be with him every step of the way reviewing the offensive lineman and setting up their board. I suspect that his arrival will be the key addition on the line, rather than see a number of high profile picks. He’s come from that Gibbs mould, Carroll wants to preach that too. I maybe should’ve included in the piece about that connection. I think it’s safe to say Alex Gibbs wouldn’t feel it necessary to draft a right tackle in round one. I think Cable will feel the same way.

  4. ChavaC says:

    The Pouncey pick I could get behind if the board just fell poorly, but I can easily name 25 prospects off the top of my head who I would take over Carimi.

  5. Carimi? Oh, barf. What a cop-out pick that would be.

    • Matt says:

      Haha, that’s a Timmy Ruskell pick!

      • Except that Carimi might actually be good.

        • Matt says:

          Maybe, but I was never impressed when I watched him. Just can’t get behind a RT when we have significant holes at positions significantly harder to address. The main reason I don’t like Carimi is that he looks to be strictly a RT. He plays too tall to move inside and he’s too much of a slug for LT. I can think of so many guys I’d rather have and I think Carimi is a candidate for a draft day Fall. There’s always a player or 2 who seems locked into round 1 then takes a huge tumble. Eversen Griffin and one could argue Golden Tate fell significantly lower than what was made out pre draft.

          • kevin mullen says:

            This pick screams like the Holmgren pick of Chris McIntosh of 2000; big, not too mobile, and from Wisconson.

  6. Blake says:

    Gettin’ pretty bored with the blog, Rob. I feel like publishing your board or maybe the top 10 options for the first 2 Hawks picks could be very beneficial. I know you have said you’d do this, but I have not seen it. Brandon’s blog has quickly taken over as the top Seahawk blog due to his full-scale articles (including retrospective draft related articles) rather than simply reporting what has been going on week to week with your opinion included. Still, a great blog you’ve got here, but with your writing skills, individuality, and football knowledge there is no reason that this blog should be anything less than commercial greatness.

    • Rob says:

      It’s not a competition, Blake. My aim was never to aspire to be the ‘best Seahawks blog’, rather just provide a forum for Seahawks fans to talk draft and also provide a unique service that no other team has in the NFL (and still doesn’t). If other blogs come along that are better, send me a URL because I’ll be over there myself. Brandon has an excellent blog, but his emergence as a blogger is a major positive rather than a competing factor.

      As for a big board, it’s not something I’ve ever done. Really I’ve tried to avoid token gestures like that (aside obviously from the regular mock drafts). My opinions aren’t hidden, but I like to think they appear in articles as opposed to a list. Whether I have a guy #5 or #10 will be irrelevant to most people because I’m just a guy. If I can put that opinion in an article or help address an issue of the day, then people might be willing to read it.

      But I also take on board any feedback and if you’re bored of the place, I can only strive to make it more interesting for you.

    • FWBrodie says:

      I for one am grateful to have a Seahawks-based blog that isn’t afraid to go against the national draft group think from time to time. I think you’re comment, Blake, is nothing more than a subconscious effort to bully Rob back in line with what you’ve read on ESPN.com or PFT’s comment board. Those repetitive ideas are what is boring to me and a lot of other people. It’s a different angle here much of the time, which is refreshing.

      Keep it up Rob.

      • Blake says:

        Haha FW what in my comment makes it seem like I am trying to “bully” the webmaster of a blog that I read? I never compare it to ESPN or any other medium except for Brandon’s blog. I love his against the grain mentality. Sorry, FW, that you are butthurt that I have constructive criticism.

        Rob, you’re a really talented guy, and the only reason I even said anything is because I think you could cash in on this following that you have developed…also I obviously want the best experience possible surfing the net. Good point on the irrelevance of such specific ratings, and you are correct that you do properly voice your opinion about certain prospects. But, for example, I do not know who you prefer between prospects like Wilkerson, Pouncey, Liuget, Phil Taylor, etc. Because I respect your opinion, I would like to know things like this. I wasn’t trying to be a dick. You seemed a little annoyed by it and FW definitely was twerked lol my bad.

        • Rob says:

          Not at all Blake – I appreciate all feedback including when it’s not entirely positive. I’d much rather someone come on the blog and say “I’m bored” and suggest an article idea than simply stop visiting.

          On Wilkerson, Liuget, Taylor and Pouncey etc – really I would welcome any of those picks if there’s no opportunity to address the need at QB and the likes of Jimmy Smith are also off the board. Liuget is the best of the bunch and I suspect will be long gone by #25. Pouncey I like a lot and Taylor may end up being a steal in that late first/early second. Wilkerson is an interesting guy because not many 305lbs lineman rush the edge as often as he did at Temple, but he’s going to have to adjust if a team wants him to play inside. I suspect Seattle would use him at the 5-tech and he has all the tools to succeed, but he’s not necessarily an elite athlete for his size or a great technician, so while I could understand taking the chance on him just because of that size and what he showed at Temple (10 sacks in 2010) there’s at least some danger you’re looking at a guy who won’t transition his college play to the pro’s.

          I suspect the Seahawks aren’t just going to ‘settle’ at #25 and I’ve long had the impression they’d be open to moving up the board or potentially trading that pick if the right player was available. Rewind 12 months and I suspect Brandon Marshall would be in Seattle now for that pick. They will be creative, they will be aggressive in improving this team. Not having a free agency period is perhaps the only thing keeping that #25 pick in Seattle. If you get to the draft and FA still hasn’t begun, then I could absolutely see a move up the board to target a guy they really want instead of the guy who happens to be there. Really that could be any position – CB, QB, DT, DE, OL, WR. I think more than anything it’d cost too much to target the QB’s because the Seahawks don’t have a third rounder, but I could see a move into the late teens where the talent is considerably greater than at #25.

          A lot of these topics are covered on the blog, but because I update every day they get pushed away from attention. I’ve had game tape break downs of Taylor, Wilkerson and Liuget. I’m working on a plan with the web designer to incoporate a ‘home page’ which will contain ‘key’ articles and also the latest blog post – in addition to the blog as we know it today. That may help.

          • FWBrodie says:

            Something else that might be nice is being able to click on a name and pull up all of the pieces he is mentioned in.

  7. Matt says:

    Rob or anybody else for that matter, does anyone remember if Rob Rang ever tabbed us with Earl Thomas or Russ Okung in his mocks last year? Rang always nailed Ruskell’s shocking picks. Just curious if anyone can think back to last year.

    • PatrickH says:

      In the last mock draft that I remember (about a week before the draft), he had the Seahawks taking Okung with the first pick and Derrick Morgan with the second one. I don’t remember whether he had anoher mock draft just before the real event.

      • Rob says:

        Rang mocked Okung to #6 a few times to his credit, but in his final mock before the draft had Jimmy Clausen going 6th overall. I don’t think he ever had Earl Thomas in Seattle, but then I didn’t see that anywhere else either from memory.

  8. kevin mullen says:

    Rob,

    Love the blog site, always great material you put out and I for one can say that I’m never bored. In fact, I participate more on yours than any other ‘Hawk blog site, keep up the great work.

    Do you see a scenario where the draft falls to the point where the BPA are both OLinemen, like the 49ers last year. What happens if Pouncey were picked #25 and say Hudson at #57? We got our interior linemen set for the next decade, and both would be great for our ZBS. I think Beast and Force would have a field day with that OL…

    • Matt says:

      It would be really tough to not like those picks. Heck, I would be very happy if it just happened to fall where we got Pouncey, Hudson, and Rackley with the first 3 picks. If the talent is there, I have no problem splurging on O line. I simply don’t want us taking a marginal talent at RT in the first round because the o line needs help if it means passing on a more difficult position to address.

    • FWBrodie says:

      Wow. That’d be cool, but there is a TON of room for improvement on the defensive line as well. It wouldn’t be wise to neglect it.

    • Charlie says:

      One of the good things about having so many holes is that I think we will be satisfied with whoever the hawks pick in this draft, optimism at it’s finest I know, but I trust pc and Schneider

    • Rob says:

      Hi Kevin,

      I think in certain circumstances that would be more than acceptable. If you’re at #25 and have no shot at the QB’s or a corner like Smith – and if nobody has unexpectedly dropped – then Pouncey is a sound move. I’m a huge Rodney Hudson fan. He’s gained weight to try and fit more schemes, but I prefer him in that 290lbs range because he is such a good technician with surprising strength. The draft isn’t an exact science and you can’t always fill the needs you want to. I would love to project the Seahawks filling that hole at QB for the next ten years, but it’s difficult at #25. If Pouncey and Hudson are the best options, at least you’re making a weakness (interior OL) into a strength.

  9. RobS says:

    Hi everyone,

    While watching ESPN I continue to hear the talks about how Carson Palmer is unhappy with the Bengals. Does anyone know, if he decides to retire, the entire process of how the Seahawks can acquire him?

    Keep up the great work Rob! You are still my favorite Seahawks Blog.

    • Rob says:

      Hi RobS,

      I think the worst thing Palmer did this off season was threaten to retire. It was a huge mistake and he lost all leverage. The Bengals are willing to prove a point by making Palmer retire rather than trade him. That way they don’t have to pay his huge salary and while they don’t get any picks in return – they also send a message to other members of the team that they won’t take threats lightly. If Palmer was demanding a trade and saying he won’t play (but won’t retire) it becomes an issue because they don’t want to pay Palmer his salary (is it worth $12m this year?) and draft another QB early for big money. That way they start to look at any way to move the guy on.

      The threat of retirement also helps CIncy in negotiations in that being prepared to let the guy retire they can barter for a high price, rather than needing to take any price.

      If Palmer retires, Cincy would have to release him before he can join another team. That won’t happen, so he’ll be stuck. He wouldn’t be able to join another team until his contract with the Bengals expired in a few years. To acquire Palmer the Seahawks would have to pay a high price.

  10. Christon says:

    Yeah, no on Camari. Good call on that one. I would much rather have Solder, Smith, Mallet, Locker, Paea, Martez Wilson or any of those DL that you mentioned over Camari.
    There is depth at interior OL this year and I really don’t think there is much of a difference between Pouncey over Moffit, Boling or Hudson who the Hawks could potentially get in the second, so I really wouldn’t be a huge fan of taking Pouncey either (I think he gets more attention then he deserves because of his pro bowl rookie brother but his is not his brother), but definitely Pouncey over Camari if I had to pick.
    Thanks for everything Rob. Visit everyday. Keep it up.

  11. Cliff says:

    I think one of the interesting things is looking at last year if Thomas wasn’t there it was reported we would move down into the 20′s or further, picking up some picks. I love hearing about us interviewing a player like Jabaal Sheard who i don’t think we’re targeting with our first and will likely be a late first but could fall into the 2nd round. If we trade back he may end up being an option.

    • Rob says:

      Sheard’s stock is rising Cliff – I think there’s more than half a chance he could go to Tampa Bay at #20.

  12. Dude says:

    Rob it sure feels like Pouncey will get pushed up the board just because of what his brother did. You see him mocked all over the place, though it feels like he may be gone by ~22. How would you rate Pouncey compared to NT Taylor or WR Smith if they were also sitting there at 25?

    • Rob says:

      I could see Pouncey going as high as #15 to Miami and as low as Pittsburgh at #31. His stock really is hard to project, but I suspect he won’t get past Kansas City at #21 or Philly at #23. I’d rate him as a safer option than Taylor, but I really like Taylor’s potential as a guy with unique mobility for his size and that can play as many as three positions on the defensive line. I’m not a huge T. Smith fan at WR – he’s got good speed but not necessarily elite. He’s just not enough of a defining playmaker to make me pull the trigger there.

  13. Dave says:

    im hoping Pouncy will be around at #25 and the Steelers wanting him to join his brother on Pittsburgs offensive line wants to trade #1 draft picks with also giving the hawks their #2 pick. Then the hawks pick up the best defensive player with the #1 from Pitt then with the two #2 picks that the hawks have pick up 2 offensive lineman.