The 2011 NFL Draft is just a few days away, so we're continuing our series previewing the outgoing Badgers! Today's subject is former Wisconsin left tackle Gabe Carimi. Don't forget, the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft begins at 7:00 p.m. this Thursday on ESPN!
Carimi has been considered a top offensive line prospect for a while now. He started for four years at Wisconsin, replacing four-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Carimi ranked 23rd overall on his Big Board, and as the third-best offensive lineman. Drafttek.com thinks Carimi projects better at right tackle than at left, where they have him as the top right tackle prospect. You can check out Carimi's prospect profile right here.
Today we're going to take a look at a bunch of mock drafts from around the internet, cause everything you read on the internet is true. Everything.
Let's start in house with SB Nation's latest mock draft, which includes several projected trades.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin. If Carimi lasts this long, he makes a lot of sense for the Ravens as an immediate starter, as they had a lot of question marks at right tackle a year ago.
I honestly doubt Carimi will be there for the Ravens to take at No. 26, but if he's there he could make a for a good starter opposite Michael Oher.
I sure hope you're not sick of mock drafts, cause we have a lot more to go through after the jump!
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: (Insider Required)
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin.
"I have offensive tackle as the top need for a team that has to make sure they don't take the athleticism of their starting quarterback for granted. In Carimi they get a guy who loves to run block and will sustain those blocks."
Todd McShay, ESPN: (Insider Required)
19. New York Giants: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin.
This is right where we project Carimi, and he would make sense both on the field and financially. Taking him would allow the Giants to move David Diehl -- who is signed through 2013 and receives escalators from $750,000 to $1.1 million for every season he plays at tackle rather than guard.
[With] Pouncey likely out of the picture, the Chiefs will turn to a Day One starting mauler at right tackle in Carimi, a safe guy at a need position from a good program.
29. Chicago Bears
Bears fans would be more than pleased to see the 2010 Outland Trophy winner slip to 29. At 6-7, 330 pounds, Carimi is a no-nonsense mauler who simply got the job done in his four years anchoring the Wisconsin offensive line.
26. Baltimore Ravens
If Gabe Carimi is on the board, the Ravens will not use up much of their time before turning in the card. Perhaps Oher takes a step forward at left tackle, but one way or another, Carimi gives them potential book ends.
19. New York Giants
NFL.com also has a few other mock drafts: Pat Kirwan has Carimi going at No. 17 to the New England Patriots, and Bucky Brooks has Carimi picked by the Eagles at No. 23. Gotta trust a guy named Bucky, right?
In addition, one of my beefs with this mock draft is that OT Gabe Carimi and G/C Mike Pouncey are selected after the Chiefs. If both those players are on the board, I think one will be Pioli's pick.
Charles Johnson, Tony Ugoh, and Adam Terry will all be free agents this offseason. Add to that Jeff Saturday will be 36 years old and his body has already started to break down. The Colts are in desperate need of an offensive line overhaul.
Finally, SB Nation's Patriots Blog Pats Pulpit takes a look at some of the offensive tackle prospects, and which ones Bill Belicheck may consider this Thursday. Protecting Tom Brady and his long flowing locks certainly is a priority for New England.
So there you have it! It looks like Carimi is going to go somewhere between pick 19 and pick 31. I've seen Carimi go as high as No. 9 to the Dallas Cowboys, but that was a while ago and it seems doubtful now. Jerry Jones doesn't like drafting offensive lineman in the first round, and if they do I'm sure they'll take a long look at USC's Tyron Smith. Keep it here this week at Bucky's 5th Quarter!
Bucky's 5th Quarter is your home for the most in-depth NFL Draft coverage regarding your favorite Wisconsin Badgers. Stay tuned for the latest news, projections and draft analysis all week long and be sure to follow us on Twitter @B5Q.