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Colts Select CMU OT Bernhard Raimann in ESPN Mel Kiper Jr.’s Latest NFL Mock Draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. (subscription), the Indianapolis Colts will select Central Michigan University offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann in his latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft:

42. Indianapolis Colts (via WSH)

Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

There’s a drop off in the tackle class after the top four guys, but there could be a run of them in Round 2. Raimann, who started his college career as a tight end and moved to tackle in 2020, has the physical tools that will entice teams. He needs to be coached hard. This is the Colts’ only pick in the first two rounds, so they have to make it count.

It’s the second time that Raimann has been prominently mocked to the Colts within the past week, as NFL.com’s Chad Reuter previously had Indianapolis selecting him as well.

The 6’6”, 303 pound offensive tackle is regarded as an exceptional athlete at the position (with a RAS of 9.81 out of a maximum of 10.0), as a former converted tight end. He made all 6 starts at left tackle in 2021 for the Chippewas—earning First-Team All-MAC and Sporting News Second-Team All-American honors respectively.

That being said, he has shorter arms (23% NFL percentile) and is a little older for a prospect (as he will turn 25 years old during his rookie season).

Especially regarding his lack of length, he doesn’t necessarily seem like a Colts general manager Chris Ballard selection this early in the draft, who ideally loves long-armed athletes at left tackle (i.e., one could infer from his post-draft comments last year that Ballard viewed second round offensive tackle prospects such as Samuel Cosmi and Dillon Radunz as purely NFL right tackles given their relatively shorter arms).

Raimann has good movement skills and lateral quickness for the offensive tackle position with the ability to get out in space and climb to the second level of defenses with ease. He’ll need some time to develop, as his technique could use further refinement—and he could become a little more powerful in his base as a run blocker at times.

Here’s what they’re saying on Raimann:

The Colts appear comfortable with re-signed offensive tackle Matt Pryor as the starting left tackle entering the 2022 campaign—although pursuing a potential upgrade cannot be completely ruled out, especially since Pryor’s elevation from the team’s top backup swing-tackle position limits their offensive line’s overall depth.

There’s no question either that the team also has greater needs than at offensive tackle right now, namely at wide receiver, tight end, or cornerback. However, an NFL general manager should still draft using ‘the best prospect available’ concept—within reason, or he’ll find himself soon on the hot seat with botched selections.

I’m just not so sure that such a sleeper prospect is Raimann though at this point in the draft, especially with top wide receiver prospects such as Georgia’s George Pickens, Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore, and Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce still sitting there in this mock draft.