We present yet another podcast in our draft series — which we certainly hope you have enjoyed — and our next guest is Wisconsin left tackle Gabe Carimi. Replacing the great Joe Thomas wasn't easy, but Carimi has enough of a collegiate career on his own to win the Outland Trophy in 2010 as the NCAA's outstanding lineman. A power blocker with great technique in the old-school mold, Carimi is expected to be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft (the final Shutdown Corner first-round mock of 2011 has him going to the Indianapolis Colts, which would be a great thing for all involved).
In this podcast, we talk about Carimi's time at Wisconsin, why the coaching he got as a Badger makes him so NFL-ready, why he believes he is the best tackle in this draft class, what the Senior Bowl was like, and why teams would be smart to keep him on the left side.
We thank our friends at the New York Life Protection Index for this interview. The Protection Index is an interesting new way to rate offensive linemen and tabulate their performances. You can find out more here.
Check out some Index stats after the jump that have to do with the importance of selecting the right offensive lineman in the draft, and click on the link below to listen to the Carimi podcast (or right-click to save the .mp3 file to your desktop):
New York Life Protection Index — Draft Nuggets
Since 2006, more than 60 percent of teams (14 of 23) that drafted offensive linemen in the first round and had him start 10 games increased their New York Life Protection Index, with 64 percent of those teams registering double-digit improvements.
In the last five years, the single largest year-to-year gain in the New York Life Protection Index was achieved by Cleveland in 2007. After drafting offensive tackle Joe Thomas with the third overall pick, the following season Cleveland gained 42.8 Protection Index points and increased its win total from four to 10
The New York Jets' Gang Green experienced similar success from the 2006 draft, where they picked two offensive linemen in the first round, tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (fourth overall) and center Nick Mangold (29th overall). The following season, their Protection Index jumped 30 points which translated into 10 wins (from four the previous season) and a playoff berth.
After drafting offensive tackle Jake Long as the No. 1 overall pick in 2008, Miami saw its Protection Index increase by 8.4 points, posting an 11-5 mark and capturing the division title with Long on the field
More NYLPI draft news and tidbits: www.newyorklife.com/protectionindex