As the NFL Draft gets closer, there seems to be a lot of the same names being connected to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 21 in the first round. While a lot of fans are excited about the possibility of adding Baylor’s Phil Taylor, a certain offensive lineman is given the edge over the defensive tackle by both SB Nation and AJC.
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin. Phil Taylor, a nose guard out of Baylor, is a popular pick here. The book on Taylor is that he’s a unique physical talent that will likely be over-drafted despite rather average tape. Scott Pioli may be OK with over-drafting, but an instant upgrade at right tackle makes more sense here.
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: Projects as a right tackle in the NFL. He played left tackle for the Badgers.
We’ve talked a lot about Carimi around here and for good reason. It’s not easy to take over for one of the best tackles in school history, but that’s exactly what he did at Wisconsin after Joe Thomas became the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
He’s praised as a run blocker, but there’s no one-trick pony here. Head over to YouTube and watch clips of Carimi, he is much better in the passing game than he is given credit for. If he was expected to come in and start at left tackle, then you might scrutinize his pass blocking even more, but being able to slide in immediately on the right side for the Chiefs he would be an immediate upgrade.
That’s not to say Taylor isn’t a fit in the middle of the defensive line, I just don’t know that he is a better pick for this team in the first round than Carimi or any of the other top offensive tackles that may slip on draft day.