Third-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, Bernhard Raimann, had a unique journey to the NFL. Here’s how Raimann found his way to Indy.
In the third round, with the 77th-overall pick, the Indianapolis Colts selected Bernhard Raimann, a left tackle from Central Michigan University.
At first glance, Raimann may seem like the prototypical lineman. He’s 6-foot-6, 303 pounds, and came from a school in the Midwest. However, Raimann’s path to the NFL was far from common.
Bernhard is from Steinbrunn, Austria. There, he grew up playing American football and always dreamed of playing high school football under the Friday Night Lights.
He got that opportunity when he went to Delton, Michigan as an exchange student for his junior year of high school. Raimann returned to Austria for his final year of high school, and after graduating, he didn’t immediately go to college to play football.
Instead, Raimann served a mandatory six-month stint with Austria’s military. Following that, Raimann returned to America to play college football at Central Michigan.
However, he started his collegiate career as a tight end. So how did he become the ninth offensive tackle selected in the first three rounds of the Draft?
Bernhard Raimann could be long-term tackle for Colts
After two years and 20 catches for 164 yards as a tight end, Central Michigan made the decision to move Raimann to left tackle. Unfortunately, that change happened right as the pandemic began.
Without being able to physically interact with his coaches and teammates, how did Bernhard learn the position in quarantine? He did what everyone does in this day and age, he went to YouTube University.
Raimann said he used his time studying professionals and techniques on YouTube and would do his best to implement them. He’d send footage to his coaches and receive long messages of feedback.
Whatever videos he was watching did a tremendous job because Raimann returned to Central Michigan as an elite left tackle for his last two seasons.
According to PFF, Raimann only allowed one sack in his 664 pass-blocking snaps over the two years.
That’s the level of consistency the Colts need at the left tackle position. Raimann may not immediately be thrown into the fire, as Chris Ballard has said Matt Pryor will get the first chance at left tackle.
However, depending on what Raimann shows in camp, the Colts might have a position battle. Competition isn’t a bad thing, it can push both players to improve.
If Pryor wins the job, Raimann can continue to develop at the relatively new position. If Raimann can win the job immediately, the Colts find their long-term answer at left tackle.