Gabe Carimi vs Adrian Clayborn


The best thing about College Football and the NFL Draft is that each week you have unbelievable match-ups that have a significant impact on the way scouts see each prospect.  This weekend had a great one in Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi vs Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn.  Both players are on our Big Boardand are each battling to be the first player taken from their respective position.  Last week Carimi went against another top propspect in Cameron Heyward and looked very impressive and in what is probably the most important two week stretch of his career he faces Clayborn.  Below we are going to take a look how each performed.

I am going to start off with Clayborn who is challenging several players for the top ranked defensive end tag and this game was an opportunity to gain some ground.  Clayborn is known as a strong run defender and is able to get into the backfield.  While I feel Clayborn has a good shot at being a good NFL player but I am concerned about his pass rushing skills.  In this game Clayborn was able to get the edge on Carimi around 4 times and once he got the sack and forced a fumble.  While he was able to create some pressure he didn’t use a sophisticated pass rush attack and his go to move was just a speed rush.  This might have been a result of what was percieved as Carimi’s weakness but I think that Clayborn could have made much more of a difference if he used a counter move.  In the run game I saw Clayborn getting pushed back 1-2 yards on more than 6 plays and on one of those it was TE Lance Kendricks doing the pushing.  Clayborn was able to get his arms extended vs the run but was unable to disengage from the blocker.  Another concern I had was watching Clayborn taken out of his game by light running back chips.  Overall, I feel this was a disappointing performance by Clayborn.  On the surface you may notice the few plays when he was in the backfield and the sack/fumble play but he had an opportunity to be more of a disruptive force.  My concern all along with Clayborn has been ability to consistently get pressure.  If I am a NFL team I wouldn’t use a top 15 pick on Clayborn because he will not be a 10 sack guy.

I am admitly high on Carimi and this game exposed some of this weaknesses.  Looking down my notes and separating he positive from the negative I see a clear negative lean to pass protection.  Watching Carimi in pass protection he relies on his arms too much and leaves his feet stationary.  He gets into position quickly but will lunge and not move his feet allowing players (Clayborn) to get around the edge.  However, he showed an ability to recover and ride the rusher how of the play.  On another play I he got his feet crossed up and that also allowed someone to get the edge on him.  While this is an obvious problem I feel that this is something that is very correctable.  He showed good athleticism and quickness that leaves me to believe that if he could improve his footwork he will be a good left tackle in the NFL.  In the running game Carimi is a monster, he was able to push back Clayborn 1-2 yards on several plays.  One thing that I noticed and is very important in the NFL is he gets a good push on short yardage situations. He is also able to pull and get out infront of the running back to set good blocks.  Carimi shows as a great right tackle prospect with the ability to play left tackle.  He will need to improve his footwork inorder to excel at the left tackle position.

So final judgement is that I will be dropping Clayborn in my rankings while keeping Carimi right where he is at.  I may be in the minority here but this game didn’t change my thoughts about Carimi being able to play left tackle.