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.
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