(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2022 NFL Draft isn't until late April, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann.
- Name: Bernhard Raimann
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- College: Central Michigan
- Height/Weight: 6-6 / 303
- Did You Know? Originally from Steinbrunn, Austria, Raimann began playing football in Vienna as a teenager and came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange student in Michigan, about two hours outside Detroit.
Where He's Projected:
Most outside draft observers seem to think that Raimann, a first-team All-MAC selection in 2021, is among the best offensive tackles in this year's class and might get drafted somewhere in the early-to-middle portion of the second round, though he's starting to get a little first-round buzz, too. Upside is a key point with Raimann, who caught 20 passes as a tight end his first two college seasons before transitioning to left tackle in 2020, where he was the Chippewas' full-time starter the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus put him on its 2021 All-America list. Clearly, Raimann's tight end history means he's an excellent athlete at the tackle spot, where lateral quickness is critical against NFL edge rushers.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
The Cowboys reportedly were not among the 11 teams that attended Raimann's Pro Day on Monday, but from a pure need standpoint, Dallas might look at offensive tackle for depth now and down the road. At the moment, they don't have a clear favorite for the swing tackle position behind left tackle Tyron Smith and projected right tackle starter Terence Steele. Josh Ball, a fourth-round draft pick last year, will be in the conversation, but he spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Raimann is still learning the nuances of the position and might take some time to develop, but the Cowboys currently lack the tackle depth they had last year. Longtime starting right tackle La'el Collins became a post-June 1 release last month and veteran backup Ty Nsekhe is still a free agent. Smith made his eighth career Pro Bowl last year and had the second-highest PFF grade among offensive tackles last season, but the Cowboys have to prepare for the possibility of injury. Smith has missed at least three starts in every season since 2016, including five in 2021.
Kyle Youmans' Report: For a player who switched from tight end to offensive tackle midway through his college career, usually size is a concern. Not so much for Raimann who has put on over 60 pounds of mass over the last few seasons. Athleticism and power are the name of the game for the MAC prospect. His tape and production were just as good against the LSUs and Missouris as it was against the lower competition level.