The Indianapolis Colts drafted several players in the 2022 NFL Draft that the organization says will help improve the roster.
But NFL writer Alex Kay of Bleacher Report writes that Indianapolis’ top draft steal this year came in the third round on Day 2.
Kay picked every NFL team’s best-value selection for an article published on May 6. For the Colts, Kay wrote that Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann provided the most value at No. 77 overall.
“The Colts have been desperately trying to unearth a viable replacement for longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo following his retirement at the end of the 2020 campaign,” Kay wrote. “Despite lacking a first-round pick this year, Indianapolis may still have found an anchor who can protect the quarterback’s blind side for the foreseeable future.
“The team picked up Bernhard Raimann at No. 77 overall, a shocking place for the Central Michigan product to land.”
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Why Did Bernhard Raimann Fall in 2022 NFL Draft?
Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, several NFL scouts predicted Raimann to be drafted in the first round or perhaps early in the second round. That’s what NFL analyst Lance Zierlein wrote, as he simply projected Raimann was a first-round pick.
The draft scouts at Bleacher Report ranked Raimann the No. 4 offensive tackle and 29th overall player. The scouts at ESPN rated Raimann a little lower as the No. 6 offensive tackle and No. 51 overall player.
Once the draft unfolded, the sixth offensive tackle didn’t come off the board until the 57th pick in the second round. But it wasn’t Raimann. ESPN’s top five rated offensive tackles and then three other tackles heard their names called before Raimann.
The Central Michigan offensive tackle was the ninth player at his position drafted this year.
Kay speculated that Raimann fell because of his age and less experience at left tackle.
“The offensive tackle likely slipped due to his age — he’ll turn 25 early in the upcoming season — and inexperience (18 career starts at left tackle),” Kay wrote. “Still, falling all the way into the third round is head-scratching given Raimann’s athleticism and talents.”
How Bernhard Raimann Fits With the Colts
As Kay wrote, Indianapolis is trying to replace long-time starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who retired a year ago. The Colts signed veteran Eric Fisher to play left tackle last season, but general manager Chris Ballard has expressed zero interest in re-signing him this offseason.
Pryor has made five starts at tackle in his career. Raimann will compete with Pryor to start at left tackle this season.
“Raimann is now with a team that could utilize his talents right away,” Kay wrote. “He’ll get a real shot at earning the starting left tackle job over Matt Pryor, linking up with guard Quenton Nelson to create a formidable tandem on the left side of Indy’s line for years to come.”
If Raimann fills the hole at left tackle for the Colts, he could prove to be one of the biggest steals of the entire 2022 NFL Draft.