The collective strength of the 2022 NFL Draft offensive tackle class hinges on several prospects — one of those prospects is Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann, whose scouting report tells of tantalizing upside. From Austrian exchange student to tight end to offensive tackle, does Raimann have the tools to eventually start in the NFL? Let’s find out.
Bernhard Raimann NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Central Michigan
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’6 1/8″
- Weight: 307 pounds
- Wingspan: 80 1/8″
- Length: 32 7/8″
- Hand: 10 1/4″
Raimann’s Combine/pro day results
- 40-Yard Dash: 5.05
- Bench Press: 30 reps
- Broad Jump: 9′ 9″
- Vertical Jump: 30.5″
- Three-Cone: 7.34
- Short Shuttle: 4.32
Bernhard Raimann Scouting Report
The talent density in Group of Five conferences such as the MAC isn’t as high as it is in Power Five conferences. But in a way, that relative dearth of NFL talent only makes legitimate next-level prospects easier to recognize when they’re present. Such is the case with Raimann.
Raimann, a foreign exchange student from Austria, made Central Michigan his home. Along the way, he was able to establish himself as one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the 2022 cycle. A Feldman Freak, Raimann clearly has the high-end athleticism. But how do his traits translate on the field, and can he leverage them into an early-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft?
Raimann’s athletic profile
Standing at 6’6 1/8″, 307 pounds, Raimann is a large blocker who looms over his opponents. His length is more in the middling range, measured at 32 7/8″. Nevertheless, Raimann compensates with his easily visible athleticism.
The Central Michigan OT is explosive off the line as a run blocker, and he’s incredibly mobile reaching the second level. He has great lateral burst and can make quick work of short distances. Additionally, Raimann has great recovery athleticism and covers a lot of ground to regain positioning.
Beyond his mobility, Raimann also has superb flexibility and balance. He effortlessly flips his hips and redirects defensive linemen. Additionally, he has the flexibility and coordination to halt rushes at the apex without losing control. Despite his lighter frame, Raimann’s core strength is solid, and he uses this to flex without breaking.
Raimann’s weight also appears to be proportioned well. The Chippewas blocker has shown to absorb power to a degree with his relatively strong base. He also has reliable grip strength when anchored and can suffocate power rushes from lesser players.
Execution beyond the physical traits
Raimann possesses an enticing athletic foundation. And the positives don’t end there, as he is fairly strong mentally as well.
Raimann has the awareness to recognize stunts and respond quickly to those maneuvers. He’s also shown he understands leverage at the second level and can seal off big lanes for backs. To that end, Raimann also grasps the minutiae of footwork and how to set up better angles for himself.
Raimann’s feet are rarely idle. He is fleet-footed and frequently uses leverage steps to stay square with his opponent. In a similar vein, Raimann can also reset his hands mid-rep to attain better upper body leverage. Raimann bends his knees well and keeps a wide base in pass protection. He also has solid leg drive when anchored and blocks all the way to the whistle.
Raimann clamps down on opposing linemen while matching around the edge, and he’s quick to capitalize when opponents sacrifice their balance. He has his moments where he buries opponents, punishing them for sacrificing their leverage and balance.
Areas for improvement
While there’s a lot to like with Raimann, he’s far from a perfect 2022 NFL Draft prospect. Although his frame is dense and compact, Raimann is still lighter than the average tackle. That can impact his absorption capacity, as can his tendency to play a bit too upright. To that end, Raimann is somewhat susceptible to bull rushes when he opens up his torso. He’ll need to narrow his hands at the next level. He also can’t be late to get his hands up — something he sometimes has trouble with.
While he has good grip strength, Raimann’s anchor can be ripped down by stronger opponents. Part of this issue can be attributed to Raimann’s length. It’s not a liability necessarily, but his length is only average. At times, that impacts his reach and leverage. For example, Raimann can get caught lurching, extending before his base is properly set. Leaning and mistiming punches this way can dilute his power capacity.
Additionally, Raimann sometimes places his extensions too high. They could also be more violent and authoritative on a consistent basis. It doesn’t help that Raimann relies heavily on extensions. When hand-fighting, his hands aren’t necessarily violent or precise. That may hurt him against NFL technicians.
Raimann’s hands and feet sometimes lack the necessary congruence. He’ll get happy feet on certain plays — that can erode his base and make him easier to drive back. Furthermore, Raimann sometimes overshoots his angles as a blocker downfield.
His 2022 NFL Draft scouting report overview
Many of Raimann’s flaws are more minor inconsistencies than red flags. All told, Raimann’s a supremely athletic tackle prospect who’s shown to at least maintain leverage and use extensions to dismantle defenders. However, there’s still room for refinement for Raimann. On top of that, he’ll be an older rookie. He’s set to turn 25 years old this September.
Physically, Raimann checks plenty of boxes. He’s extremely athletic and well-proportioned. Additionally, he has good balance and flexibility, which amounts to strong recovery. His grip strength is solid (though not infallible). And his mobility in space makes him a dangerous second-level blocker.
All this being said, Raimann may have trouble exerting his will and maintaining his anchor against bigger, stronger NFL defenders. He’s a bit on the lighter side, and his middling length may qualify as a limitation in some matchups. Even then, he could strive to refine his hand usage and use independent hands more often.
The Senior Bowl was a bit of a mixed bag for Raimann. The Central Michigan OT showed off his rare athleticism and recovery capacity. He also locked up rushers with his core and grip strength. But at the same time, the issues with pad level and hand usage also showed up.
There’s enough there for Raimann to be worth a Day 2 pick. Round 1 may be too rich at this point, but if a team can develop his upside, it may be worth it in the long run. Especially for zone-blocking schemes, Raimann could be a quality left tackle.
Raimann’s Player Profile
Raimann’s path to football has been long and winding, but it’s ultimately led him to the doorstep of the NFL Draft. Born in Austria, Raimann was active from a young age. However, it wasn’t until age 14 that he was introduced to football.
That introduction precipitated a stint with the youth club Vienna Vikings. Then, upon traveling to the United States as a foreign exchange student in high school, he continued his football career closer to the source.
Lightly recruited, Raimann pressed on. He initially played wide receiver, using his size and athleticism to catch the eye of scouts. He eventually earned a scholarship offer from Central Michigan.
It wasn’t a tough choice for Raimann. After his required military service in Austria, Raimann joined the Chippewas and made the trip from Delton, Michigan, to Mount Pleasant.
Raimann’s career at Central Michigan
After starting his football career as a wide receiver, Raimann lined up at tight end when he first joined Central Michigan’s program. Listed at 6’7″, 240 pounds, Raimann clearly had the size. And he had the athleticism. Yet, Raimann would produce sparingly in two seasons — just 20 total catches for 164 yards.
Still, Raimann kept training while staying on top of his academics off the field. His first real opportunity, however, would come in the trenches. In 2020, CMU switched Raimann to tackle. He worked his way up to 290 pounds and started all six games for the Chippewas.
That early success at OT ensured that Raimann would be the blindside blocker in 2021. And he didn’t disappoint with that continued responsibility. He was one of the best offensive linemen in the MAC alongside his teammate Luke Goedeke. Even against higher-level opponents like Missouri, Raimann flashed great promise.
Raimann’s 2022 NFL Draft ascension
Raimann’s age may work against him in some draft rooms, but offensive linemen tend to have shelf lives into their mid-30s — health permitting. If teams don’t care about his age, they’ll only be further won over by his athletic testing.
Bruce Feldman wrote in the summer of 2021 that Raimann had a 33″ vertical, a 117.5″ broad jump, and a 1.56 10-yard split. Those are insane explosiveness numbers for an offensive lineman. And for the most part, Raimann lived up to his reputation at the NFL Combine, earning a 30.5″ vertical and a 117″ broad. He earned a Relative Athletic Score of 9.81.
It’s widely accepted that teams draft players for what they can be, not just what they are now. Already, Raimann is a high-level physical talent with most of the necessary tools to succeed. There’s still work to be done for the Central Michigan OT, but he has the athleticism, strength, and mental acuity to be an impactful, versatile lineman at the next level.
Tony Pauline’s scouting report on Bernhard Raimann
Positives: Smart, tough offensive tackle with a large upside. Bends his knees and blocks with leverage, patience, and strength. Fires his hands into opponents and places them correctly. Anchors in pass protection and gets movement run blocking. Intelligent, picks up the blitz, and fights hard throughout the action.
Keeps his feet moving, stays square, and seals defenders from the action. Above average getting out to the second level and taking linebackers from the action. Keeps his feet moving, keeps his head on a swivel, and makes outstanding use of blocking angles. Easily controls defenders at the point.
Negatives: Lacks quick and fluid footwork off the edge, does not display much lateral blocking range, and struggles with speedy edge rushers. Overextends into blocks and often leans on opponents. Lacks top arm length for a tackle.
Analysis: Raimann was a very good offensive tackle at Central Michigan and projects to the right side in the NFL. He’ll also receive consideration at guard. He possesses size and growth potential and can be used as a power-gap lineman or even in a zone system.