Wisconsin's Carimi again says he's best OT available in draft

MADISON, Wis. -- Gabe Carimi isn't backing down from his recent boast that he's the best offensive tackle prospect in next month's NFL draft.

The University of Wisconsin star raised a few eyebrows last month when he said at the NFL Scouting Combine that he considers himself the best tackle available.

Asked at Wednesday's pro-day workouts on the Wisconsin campus about his comments, Carimi explained he wouldn't have said it if he didn't believe it -- and that he told the same thing to the handful of teams who asked him about it.

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"They asked me why I thought that," Carimi said. "They asked me why, and I repeated myself. And most of them said they agreed."

Carimi doesn't believe his confidence will do anything but help his draft stock.

"I wouldn't see why you wouldn't want a confident player," Carimi said.

Carimi, defensive end J.J. Watt and running back John Clay were among the Wisconsin prospects who worked out Wednesday. Clay, who ran a disappointing 40-yard dash time at the combine, said he ran in the low 4.6-second range.

Among the NFL front-office personnel present for the workouts were Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Carimi said he's prepared for the possibility of a work stoppage in the NFL, and he said his background in the Badgers' offense would give him an edge if incoming rookies aren't allowed to work with coaches during a potential lockout this offseason.

"I think drafting me, you'd already be way ahead of the curve," Carimi said. "Any O-lineman that's come through this program has a better grasp than, basically, other teams, just (with) the kind of style of offense we run. I do the white board (play diagrams) with coaches, and there's really nothing you can throw at me that I don't know."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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