Any Bears fan who has paid close attention to games the past two years knows that offensive line was the biggest weakness on the team and should have been the highest priority heading into the draft on Thursday. The Bears front office acknowledged as much, too, with the selection of offensive tackle Gabe Carimi from Wisconsin.
The selection surely drew applause from Bears fans countrywide, and a standing ovation from quarterback Jay Cutler, who was sacked a league-high 52 times — 12 more than the next-most sacked quarterback.
The Bears made it clear that Carimi was their guy in a press conference after the pick. Apparently, they tried to trade up — yes, up — to No. 26 with the Ravens because they feared the Chiefs were targeting Carimi at No. 27. In a strange twist of fate, the Bears botched the paperwork to complete the trade and they remained at No. 29, where Carimi fortunately fell to them.
Angelo was right when he said a team needs some luck to fall its way in drafts in addition to prep work.
Carimi is big and nasty and is considered a mauler in the run game. There are questions about his pass blocking which is why he slipped to the end of the first round. But he called himself the best tackle in the draft at the scouting combine and he plays with confidence.
Carimi is likely to step in at right tackle as the Bears move J’Marcus Webb over to the left side. It’s still possible the Bears can add a veteran to the mix via free agency as the reconstruction of the offensive line continues.
The Bears have two picks on Friday night’s second day of the draft.