Patriots welcome second scheduled first-round tackle for pre-draft visit
February 1, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; Michigan center National offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann (76) works with a coach during national practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt – USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots’ pre-draft visits this week have involved players from blue blood programs like Alabama and Georgia. However, the week ended with a report about a player from a small school – but with equally big NFL potential.
As Evan Lazar of CLNS Media first reported, the Patriots met the Michigan center tackle Bernard Raiman Last week. Raimann is currently projected as a late pick in the first or early second round, and is considered by many to be one of the top five tackles in this class.
While the tackle isn’t an immediate need for the Patriots, it’s projected as such in the near future and the team generally prefers to stay one step ahead of the offensive line. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn is entering a contract year, while right tackle Trent Brown has a two-year deal but has struggled to stay on the pitch in recent seasons.
“You have to plan for the future while trying to put our team in the best position this year. But we can’t be shorthanded in any of those positions,” Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh said during his pre-draft press conference Friday. “Offensive line – whenever we can get depth, start level plays, that will always be a priority.”
Specifically at left tackle, the team did a good job of planning ahead. Under Bill Belichick, they’ve only had three players in the position aside from injuries in Matt Light, Nate Solder and Isaiah Wynn.
When it comes to adding a tackle, Raimann checks a lot of boxes for the Patriots. He’s tall (6-foot-7, 305 pounds) but has an athletic frame and can step out and block in space, like Light and Solder. Like Solder, he is a converted tight end, having just switched to left tackle in 2020. It speaks to his athleticism and suggests he has plenty of room to develop his game, but it’s also a sign he will be believed. to start. If the plan is to draft it and have it developed for a year before taking over from Wynn in 2022, that might not be a problem.
Just like Light, Solder and Wynn, Raimann participated in the Senior Bowl. These three players have been selected from the top 50 (Solder and Wynn in the first round, Light in the second), which is also in line with Raimann’s projected range at this time.
Raimann isn’t the only top-50 tackle the Patriots have encountered. They also hosted Trevor Penning from northern Iowa earlier this month. Overall, the Patriots are nearly a third of their top 30 hits, with nine on the books so far.
Tracking meetings before the Patriots 2022 draft
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