Senior Bowl Notes/Preview

By Sam Zastrow

The Badgers are sendng three players to Saturday’s Senior Bowl. This week’s practices have been watched by NFL scouts and media members alike, and part of it has even been televised. Lets take a look at what others are saying about the three Badgers who are taking part. I’ll also add my own two cents, because while I’m not attending the game or practices, I have watched these players all season and for most of their Wisconsin careers.

Gabe Carimi, OT

Gabe Carimi will likely be the first Badger taken in this year’s draft. I’ve seen his draft stock as high as a top-five pick and as low as a late first-rounder. He won the Outland Trophy this season, which goes to the NCAA’s top offensive lineman. I’ve always thought highly of Carimi. He’s tall, quick and smart. He comes from a long line of dominant Badger tackles, which includes All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns. That said, he has criticized for not be dominant enough against aggressive, larger players. He seems to handle speedy guys pretty well, but has shown some weakness at times against power pass rushers.

Carimi has reportedly been inconsistent this week at practice this week. Adam Rittenberg, an ESPN Big Ten blogger, had this to say about his performance yesterday.

[Iowa DE Christian] Ballard beat Carimi in one-on-one drills and the Wisconsin star also struggled against Notre Dame’s Ian Williams.

Yahoo Sports and Football Outsiders’ Doug Farrar:

It’s not likely that Carimi will be a dominant inline blocker, but with the right kind of coaching, he has the potential to be one of the best of the new wave of taller tackles with speed and agility in place of pure power.

John Moffit, OG

Moffit has a reputation of being ‘nasty’. His attitude and, to a lesser extent, his skill set remind me a lot of the Green Bay Packers’ Josh Sitton (yeah, I’m a homer). Both are lineman that you can’t help but notice when they’re on the field because they always seem to make plays.

Like Carimi, Moffit is smart, strong and athletic, but can sometimes be overpowered by large, aggressive lineman. I haven’t seen much said about Moffit in practice this week, but there was this encouraging bit from

During team drills, Moffitt’s strength and balance made him the toughest draw for any defensive tackle. Moffitt blasted holes at the first level and showed better agility in the open field than expected.

Lance Kendricks, TE

I really have high hopes for Kendricks. Badger tight ends like Garrett Graham, Travis Beckum and Owen Daniels have had success transitioning to the NFL, and Wisconisn’s coaches have called Kendricks the best of the group. Kendricks blocks like Graham and factors into the passing game like Beckum. If a coach uses him like the Patriots used Aaron Hernandez this year, Kendricks could have a big impact as a rookie.

However, Rittenberg was critical of Kendricks’ play this week:

Not a good day for the Badgers’ standout, as the Scouts Inc. crew writes Kendricks “showed no pop or power as a blocker and as a receiver he was trapping everything against his pads. You could hear it thudding off his pads. The other North TEs had good days, so his poor performance stood out a little more.

Expect more on these players and on the Senior Bowl this weekend.

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