Monday, June 10, 2013
Carimi, Carpenter and 2011 contemporaries
By Mike Sando
The trade sending Gabe Carimi from the Chicago Bears to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shines light on the 2011 draft for offensive linemen.
I've singled out the first round because that is where the Seattle Seahawks selected James Carpenter that year.
Carpenter started immediately, only to suffer a devastating knee injury during his rookie season. He returned to play in seven games last season, but the knee held him back. Carpenter lasted seven games. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee this offseason in another attempt to right the knee.
Coach Pete Carroll called the surgery a success and said Carpenter will compete for playing time this season. There are still question marks.
Imagine how different the NFC West might look if the Seahawks had used the 25th overall choice in the 2011 draft for Colin Kaepernick instead of Carpenter. Seattle needed a quarterback at the time. Kaepernick was available and would go to the San Francisco 49ers with the 36th overall choice.
It's 20-20 hindsight now, of course. Injuries have prevented Carpenter, Carimi and fellow 2011 first-round offensive lineman Derek Sherrod from contributing much. Sherrod suffered a broken leg during his rookie season and is still fighting his way back. Carimi appeared to be on a promising path before a knee injury ended his 2011 season. Carimi underwent multiple surgeries and hasn't been the same.
Seattle went into the 2011 draft wanting to rebuild its offensive line. Carpenter was supposed to become the team's right tackle opposite 2010 first-round choice Russell Okung. Carpenter will project to guard when he returns.