Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Eagles Don't Need to Reach for Gabe Carimi
Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft Has the Eagles Overlooking a Major Need
The Philadelphia Eagles were pretty good on offense in 2010. Only the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers scored more points per game than the Eagles, and they seemed to be able to score at will thanks to all their playmakers.
Unfortunately, the machine seemed to break down towards the end of the year, which definitely had a lot to do with the fact that Michael Vick was pretty dinged up. The Eagles went ahead and slapped a pricey franchise tag on him anyway, and the thinking is that the team would do well to find some protection for him in the NFL Draft.
Mel Kiper has the Eagles taking Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi with the No. 23 pick in his most recent 2011 NFL Mock Draft (must have ESPN Insider). He seems to think that Carimi could emerge as a kind of enforcer:
In Carimi [the Eagles] get a guy who loves to run block and will sustain those blocks. But he can also take on great pass-rushers, and has shown enough that it figures he could fill in at either tackle position early, potentially starting on the right side with the goal to become a starting left tackle.
Because Vick clearly was not the same player at the end of last year as he was in the middle, I can definitely see the appeal of drafting Carimi. And Kiper is dead-on when he says Carimi loves to run block. Wisconsin's offense relied pretty heavily on the run, and Carimi was the anchor on what was a very good offensive line.
However, I'm not so sure the Eagles can't do better with the No. 23 pick. For example, they are definitely in need of a stud cornerback to help share the load with Asante Samuel, and there's a very good chance that Colorado's Jimmy Smith is going to be on the board. Personally, that's a pick I think they make.
If you're not buying what I'm selling, keep in mind that the Eagles got burned for 31 passing touchdowns in 2010. Only the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys allowed more, and both of them were pretty bad. The only reason the Eagles were able to enjoy success was because of their offense, which is going to be good even if they don't find more protection for Vick.
Sorry, Kiper, but I'm afraid Rymer wins this round.
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