Bears No. 1 pick scouting report: OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin

Posted April 29, 2011 @ 4:56 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

With the 29th overall pick, the Bears landed a player they coveted in OT Gabe Carimi, who is expected to be a starter from Day One. The 6-7, 314-pound Outland Trophy winner could start at right tackle if J'Marcus Webb moves from right to left tackle, which he said he's willing to do. Here is PFW draft expert Nolan Nawrocki's scouting report on Carimi:

Notes: Parade All-American as a two-way lineman who also competed in track as a prep. Redshirted in 2006. The following season, replaced Browns ’07 third overall pick Joe Thomas, starting all 13 games at left tackle. Started all 10 games played in ’08 but missed three after tearing his right MCL against Ohio State. Sprained his right knee in ’09 fall camp but returned to start all 13 games at left tackle. Suffered an AC sprain in his left shoulder in October but did not miss any time. Won the Outland Trophy in ’10 after starting all 13 games at left tackle. Team captain. Did not perform shuttles at the Combine because of a left ankle sprain.

Positives: Has a short trunk, long torso and very long arms. Plays with a good base and balance. Efficient leveraging the edge and sliding in pass protection. Rose to the occasion against top competition, handling Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn and Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward and showing he could match up against size and create some push off the line of scrimmage. Solid technician with good footwork. Works to the second level and fits cleanly on linebackers. Very tough and will play through injuries. Showed surprisingly well at the Senior Bowl. Smart and assignment-sound. Takes the game seriously, works hard and wants to improve.

Needs to get stronger in the lower body and play with more consistent knee bend. Not does have enough lead in his pants or snarls. Not powerful and too often falls off blocks. Has a white-collar mentality at a blue-collar position and carries an inflated opinion of himself. Thinks he is better than he is and came off as arrogant and selfish in interviews at the Combine. Durability is concerning — was consistently slowed by injuries. Did not look comfortable on the inside at the Senior Bowl. Appeared very upright and slipped multiple times in positional drills at the Combine.

A long-limbed, rangy leaner who may never be great, but answered questions about an injury-riddled junior season and showed the mental toughness to win tough battles as a senior. Some NFL evaluators have projected him to the ORT and OG positions, but should be able to step into the starting lineup readily at left tackle in the pros like he did in college. Compares favorably to Giants 1999 19th overall pick Luke Petitgout.

NFL projection: First-round pick.