Updated Apr 4, 2011 - 7:54 pm
Rob Rang has Seahawks taking Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi with 25th pick
By Brady Henderson
Offensive tackle Gabe Carimi is the newest name linked to the Seahawks in a prominent mock draft.
In his latest projection, Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com predicts Seattle will take the former Wisconsin Badger with the 25th overall pick.
"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."
Carimi is the third-best offensive tackle -- and 20th best overall prospect -- on Scouts Inc.'s Top 32. Mel Kiper ranks Carimi as the fourth-best tackle and No. 22 overall player on his latest Big Board.
Not that Carimi would agree with either assessment. He said at the scouting combine in February and again at his pro day earlier this month that he's the best offensive tackle in the draft.
ESPN's John Clayton said the talent among defensive players -- defensive ends in particular -- in this year's draft could force teams picking ahead of the Seahawks to pass on Carimi. So could the perception Rang eluded to -- that Carimi may be better-suited to play right tackle, a position not as valued as left tackle.
"Gabe can probably play both, but I think most people think he's a right tackle and that's what could push him into the 20s," Clayton said Monday on the Calabro show. "But I don't know if he's going to drop all the way to 25."
Recent comments made by Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll indicate that Seattle's right tackle spot might not be as wide open as originally thought.
The team terminated the final year of Sean Locklear's contract, but Carroll told Mike Sando of ESPN.com at the NFL owners meetings last week that Stacy Andrews, who lost his starting spot at guard late last season, will move to right tackle, what Carroll called his "natural position."
"That's a spot that Stacy will compete at," Carroll told Sando. "That to me is an exciting opportunity. His body type and his mentality and his background, even though he played guard at Philadelphia, he really is a natural tackle. Hard-working guy and all that kind of stuff. We'll see how that works out."
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