Report: Patriots hosting second projected first round tackle for pre-draft visit
The Patriots’ pre-draft visits this week have involved players from blue blood programs like Alabama and Georgia. However, the week wrapped up with a report about a player from a smaller school – but with just as big NFL potential.
As first reported by CLNS Media’s Evan Lazar, the Patriots met with Central Michigan tackle Bernhard Raimann last week. Raimann is currently projected as a late first or early second round pick, and is viewed by many as a top five tackle in this class.
While tackle isn’t an immediate need for the Patriots, it projects as one in the near future and the team generally prefers to stay ahead of things on the offensive line. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn is entering a contract year, while right tackle Trent Brown is on a two-year deal but has struggled to stay on the field the last few seasons.
“You have to plan for the future while also trying to put our our team in the best position this year. But we can’t be caught shorthanded at any of those positions,” Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh said during his pre-draft press conference on Friday. “Offensive line – whenever we can get depth, starting level pieces, that’s always going to be a priority.”
Mar 4, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Central Michigan offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann (OL40) goes through drills during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Specifically at left tackle, the team has done a good job of planning ahead. Under Bill Belichick, they’ve had just three players man the position aside from injury in Matt Light, Nate Solder, and Isaiah Wynn.
As far as adding a tackle goes, Raimann checks a lot of boxes for the Patriots. He’s big (6-foot-7, 305 pounds) but has an athletic frame and can get out and block in space, similar to Light and Solder. Like Solder he’s a converted tight end, having just moved to left tackle in 2020. That speaks to his athleticism and suggests he has plenty of room to grow his game, but also is a sign he’ll be raw to start. If the plan is to draft him and have him develop for a year before taking over for Wynn in 2022 though, that might not be a problem.
Also like Light, Solder, and Wynn, Raimann took part in the Senior Bowl. All three of those players were taken within the top 50 picks (Solder and Wynn in the first round, Light in the second), which is also Raimann’s projected range right now.
Raimann isn’t the only top-50 tackle the Patriots have met with. They also hosted Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning earlier this month. In total, the Patriots are almost a third of the way through their top-30 visits, with nine on the books so far.
2022 Patriots pre-draft meeting tracker
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.