Gabe is a massive human being with exceptional athletic talent to play his position. He has those long arms you look for in a tackle and he moves his feet very well for a person who is the size of a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Gabe does a good job pass blocking because of his size and quick feet and his run blocking is strong as well. He looks to be a solid teammate; he knows his assignments and makes few mistakes. He is out of his stance and into his blocks quickly, which makes it difficult for any defensive lineman to handle Gabe one-on-one. Gabe is a solid OT who has the ability to play on either side of your offense because of his size, athletic talents and football intelligence.
The biggest concern for me is that Gabe seems to play to his competition and not to his talents. Gabe lacks the mental stamina needed right now to be a consistent offensive lineman and not just "good one play then ok on the next play" for the next level. He gets away with it at the college level, but playing that way will get his QB killed at the next level. He blocks players, but then leans on them when pass blocking, which will not "cut the mustard", as they say, at the next level. His pass and run blocking techniques are very good at the initial snap of the ball, but his effort seems to slack once he feels that he has done his job. Scouts call this "not staying with your blocks". I call it just doing enough to get by. He has the talent to be the #1 LT drafted in this draft but unless he plays lights out at the Senior Bowl, Gabe might not be drafted until the second round. There is nothing wrong with this kid's overall game except he lacks the passion to be the best on the field when he plays. He reminds me a lot of Luke Petitgout (former OT, NY Giants).
Luke Petitgout was the 19th pick of the 1999 draft by the Giants and became a solid, but not an impacting, left tackle. Gabe's style of play is so similar to Luke's it's scary. I would suspect that the team that drafts Gabe will start him out on the right side until he proves to be more consistent and improves his mental stamina. It's obvious to me that, for Gabe, playing football at the college level comes easy. He looks bored unless faced with a challenge. When the challenge is in front of him, Gabe plays like another Left Tackle the Giants had years ago, Jumbo Elliot. Jumbo was a tough, no nonsense type of tackle who would punch you in the throat before he would allow you to hit his QB. He wasn't pretty, but he was effective. If Gabe plays with that type of intensity, he could be one of the better LT's to play in the NFL. The problem is that he just doesn't play with that kind of pride all the time. So drafting Gabe in the later part of the 1st round makes sense because he should be a solid offensive lineman. However, drafting him too early with the expectations that he is a franchise Left Tackle I think would be a mistake. Maybe Gabe will see the light after he gets his bell rung and is embarrassed a few times on national TV. Until that happens, Gabe will play like Luke and not like Jumbo. The bottom line is this... drafting Gabe will give you a solid offensive tackle for your team who just might develop into a top left tackle and that's not a bad draft pick. However, it could be a frustrating draft pick.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Nov/10