Bernhard Raimann’s American football journey, which has taken him from being a wide receiver with a local club team in his native Austria, to one of the best draft prospects of the 2022 NFL Draft class, will continue apace at the professional level, as he became Central Michigan tackle to be selected in the first three rounds on Thursday night, with the Indianapolis Colts taking him 77th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Raimann joins fellow Chippewa alum Joe Staley (who he worked out with in draft preparations), Eric Fisher and Luke Goedeke (who was selected with the 57th pick of this year’s draft) as CMU tackles to hear their names called under the primetime lights.
(Coincidentally, Raimann likely slots in to Fisher’s former spot on the Colts line.)
Standing at six-foot-seven, 305 lbs., Raimann cuts an imposing figure at the bookend of the offensive line and proved himself to be one of the country’s best run-blocking tackles, finishing with a 93.3 Pro Football Focus grade. His pass-blocking could use work, which is understandable as he was a conversion as recently as 2020, but even that came in at an impressive 88.7 in 2021, making Raimann a potential force at the professional level.
Raimann possesses a punishing finish in run blocks, often pancaking ends and linebackers on sheer strength, and also has the athleticism to continue making downfield blocks when necessary, clocking in the low 5.0’s on the 40-yard dash. Raimann’s time as a tight end at the collegiate level also showed itself in workouts, as he finished top three in bench press (30 reps) and vertical jump (30.5), and was tied for 11th in 40-time at the combine.
If there are concerns regarding Raimann’s ability to translate at the NFL level, it is likely due to his age (he had to take a year off to fulfill his military obligation in Austria), his lack of experience at the tackle spot and his short arms (measuring just over 32 inches in length), which some fear could limit his ceiling from the jump.
But what you can be assured of in Raimann is a lineman with a decent floor who has the athletic profile and ability to take to coaching and reach his best potential in the right situation.
Raimann was a first-team all-MAC offensive lineman for two straight seasons after converting to the position during the height of the COVID pandemic, having to learn position drills on his own at one point, so the ability and want-to certainly is not lacking. He will be expected to contribute immediately along the offensive line and compete for starting reps right away.