Green Bay Packers Address OL in Recent PFF Mock Draft

Feb 1, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; National offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann of Central Michigan (76) works with a coach during National practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; National offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann of Central Michigan (76) works with a coach during National practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

Considering that the Green Bay Packers had to utilize seven different offensive line combinations and nine different players took meaningful snaps over the course of the 2021 season as the team dealt with injuries, this unit held up quite well. In fact, many offensive lines would have crumbled under these circumstances.

With that said, this unit was nowhere near the level they were at in 2020–although that shouldn’t have been the expectation either. The run game wasn’t nearly as explosive, and in pass protection, this group had to be game-planned for, with Aaron Rodgers relying heavily on the quick passing game.

Looking ahead to 2022, while much of the core is still intact, there are some question marks. Lucas Patrick will be a free agent, and perhaps Billy Turner ends up as a cap casualty. According to Over the Cap, Turner comes with a $9.16 million cap hit this season, and the Green Bay Packers can save $3.35 million in cap charges if they were to cut him.

If Green Bay did decide to move on from Turner, potential on the roster options to replace him could include Elgton Jenkins or Yosh Nijman. Or maybe the Packers choose to address right tackle in the draft. And even if Turner is back, or they go with Jenkins or Nijman, offensive tackle is one of those positions that you can never have too much depth at–with the 2021 season being a prime example of that.

In a recent mock draft from PFF, Sam Monson had the Green Bay Packers addressing that tackle need by selecting Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann.

"“Green Bay’s offensive line was patched together this season and would have looked a lot worse if not for Aaron Rodgers pulling the strings at quarterback,” said Monson in his mock draft. “A healthy David Bakhtiari next year will make a big difference, but the Packers could still use some contingency there.”"

Raimann stands at 6’7″ – 305 pounds, and before converting the offensive tackle, he spent his first two seasons at Central Michigan as a tight end. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he logged 20 receptions for 164 yards.

2020 was his first year at left tackle, and Raimann wouldn’t surrender a single sack and allowed just five pressures over 215 pass-blocking snaps, according to PFF ($$). However, this past season was his breakout year. Raimann was on the field for 895 snaps, compared to 447 the year before, and he gave up only one sack and 10 pressures.

Raimann was PFF’s second-highest graded tackle in all of college football this past season, and he ranked 15th out of 200 tackles in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency metric.

As a former tight end, Raimann has terrific movement skills and is someone who should shine at the NFL Combine. His ability in space would also make him a good fit for Matt LaFleur’s wide zone running scheme as well as in the screen game, which hopefully we see more of from the Green Bay Packers in 2022.

For a closer look at Raimann’s game, here is what Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network had to say about him in his pre-draft report.

"“I like his projection best in a system that looks to weaponize his athletic ability on the edge—where his movement skills can help hit ambitious landmarks in the run and screen game and his mobility can help to shine and maintain pocket integrity when his offense looks to move the pocket.“The three-year projection is undoubtedly higher than the one-year projection and in a perfect world, he may get a little seasoning on the bench before taking the field. But with his position and his likely projected draft status, I would not be surprised if Raimann was handed a starting role early on and charged with learning on the job.”"

Regardless of whether Turner is back or not this is a selection that makes sense for Green Bay. As Crabbs mentions, given that Raimann is relatively new to the position, a year on the sidelines could be what’s best for him at the moment. But if Turner is gone and the Packers need him to compete for playing time right away, he is certainly capable of that as well.

As I mentioned above, Jenkins and Nijman could be other alternatives at right tackle, but it’s worth noting that Jenkins will likely miss at least the start of the 2022 season as he recovers from his ACL injury, and perhaps the Packers want to keep him at guard. While with Nijman, to our knowledge, he has only taken reps at left tackle, and that could be where he stays–we just don’t know.

Offensive tackle is one of the premier positions in football and one that you can never have too many options at. Given some of the uncertainty at the right tackle position at this time, coupled with Raimann’s upside — which there is plenty of — I imagine if he’s on the board while the Green Bay Packers are on the clock, he will be difficult to pass up.