The New England Patriots are a few days away from adding some new franchise cornerstones to the mix. They likely will place an emphasis on the offensive line at some point in the draft, as Isaiah Wynn at left tackle and a somewhat turbulent interior aren’t setting Mac Jones up for success.
Such turmoil on the offensive line is not common for New England. Linemen like Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer helped Tom Brady orchestrate his offense to perfection over the years, and Bill Belichick knows he must invest major capital into his line to successfully enter a new era of dominant Patriots football.
The Patriots’ desire to use all sorts of unconventional scouting methods helped them land a starter in Vollmer despite him not being invited to the combine (in addition to his late arrival to football). New England could draft an exact clone in 2022 if the offensive line is their top priority.
Peter King’s mock draft over at NBC Sports had the Patriots selecting an Austrian-born Chippewa in Central Michigan tackle Bernhard Raimann at No. 21 overall. While he didn’t play elite competition, Raimann has all of the tools that offensive line coaches love to work with.
Will the New England Patriots draft Bernhard Raimann?
Raimann, who was a late-comer to football that took six months off to fulfill Austria’s military commitment, is a 25-year-old prospect that had to originally change positions because he put on weight (he was formerly a tight end). That athleticism Raimann needed to become a tight end has shown up all over some dominant MAC tape.
His natural quickness has helped him deal with speedy edge rushers, and his nasty attitude as a run blocker is exemplary. Raimann’s technical and mechanical development for someone who was new to the position is astonishing. It bodes well for his developmental potential in the pros.
While Trent Brown appears to be set in stone as one of Jones’ tackles, Raimann might be talented enough to unseat Isaiah Wynn, if he really hits his stride. If this year is all about protecting Jones, Raimann might make a ton of sense for Belichick and whomever coaches the offense.
Players like Trevor Penning and Tyler Smith could come into play in this range, but it can be argued that Raimann might be the best of the three when it comes to immediately evolving into a starter. If replicating Vollmer is the plan, Raimann might be a spitting image.