The New England Patriots are in an uncomfortable spot headed into the 2022 NFL Draft. The departures of cornerback J.C. Jackson and guards Shaq Mason and Ted Karras have created significant needs at two separate positions that seemed to be set for the long haul just 12 months ago. If you include the never-ending need for more talent at the wide receiver position, a completely inexperienced linebacking corps, and uncertainty at offensive tackle, you can see that Bill Belichick has set himself up for a make-or-break draft in 2022.
New England has a need at just about every position on the roster, meaning Belichick and company have the unenviable task of choosing from a bigger pool of prospects than normal. So how does one get in the mind of the greatest coach who ever lived? Look at the history.
Since the dawn of his tenure in New England, Belichick has taken the ‘too-early rather than too-late’ approach to his team building strategy. No position has been illustrated by that mentality more than offensive tackle. So, as they sit on the line between too early and too late, I present to you Pats Pulpit’s pick in the 2022 NFL writers’ mock draft: Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann.
2022 #Patriots Draft Target Thread— Keagan Stiefel (@KeaganStiefel) April 12, 2022
OT Bernhard Raimann
(6’6” - 303lbs)
The living embodiment of that “floor vs. ceiling” debate we like to have with offensive lineman. There’s work to be done, but the potential reward in gambling on this player is worth it. pic.twitter.com/4RuWVHBRx6
Despite boasting two of the more consistent on-field talents on the entire team, the Patriots tackle group is one of the shakiest on its entire roster. Starters Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown both excel in their roles, but struggle to consistently stay on the field. That’s not to mention the fact that neither is under contract past 2023. Backups Yodny Cajuste, Yasir Durant, and Justin Herron aren’t viewed as potential full time starters and as far as anyone outside of New England is concerned, could all very well be a figment of our imagination.
When given the opportunity to create some momentum, Raimann can wash people out. He’s a great lateral run blocker because his legs are constantly driving and he has the ability to reach and wall off defenders. He’s can recover really well in the run game. pic.twitter.com/VtOLoBFF4h— Keagan Stiefel (@KeaganStiefel) April 12, 2022
Drafting Bernhard Raimann is a way for New England to fall back on their tried and true method of developing players with all of the tools at that position, behind veterans who have succeeded in the system. Nate Solder sat behind Matt Light. Marcus Cannon sat behind Sebastian Vollmer. Isaiah Wynn spent an injury plagued rookie season behind Trent Brown. Raimann fits so well under this umbrella because of his background as a foreign exchange student with limited experience playing the game. There’s no better person for him to enter the professional ranks under than Belichick.
Best players remaining:
- George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
- Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
- Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
- Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
- Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
How would you grade the selection of Bernhard Raimann at No. 21?
This poll is closed