Badgering me: Eagles, Kiper high on Carimi

The hair. The out-of-style glasses. The condescending looks. Yep, it’s time for Mel Kiper’s thoughts on the upcoming NFL Draft.

As the league struggles to avoid a lockout, one thing is certain: The draft will go on. And Kiper will have opinions (and, as ESPN reminded us yesterday, the network’s draft guru is correct almost 80 percent of the time in his first-round selections.)

Last week, Kiper revealed his first mock draft. He has the Eagles taking Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi with the 23rd overall pick. Carimi played left tackle in college, but he played right guard in high school — and has been working there at this week’s Senior Bowl practices.

“The Eagles are loaded at the skill positions and did a nice job of hitting defense early in last year’s draft, so they should address the offensive line at a place where the value meets the need,” Kiper said. “In Carimi, they get a guy who loves to run-block and will sustain his blocks into the parking lot.”

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock compared Carimi to Jon Runyan. Others, like Kiper, admit that he’s still a bit of a work in progress.

“He plays with an edge, but needs continued development as a pass-blocker,” Kiper said. “His film against some big-time prospects this year shows a guy ready to contribute.”

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