Colts’ Bernhard Raimann preparing for starting LT battle

The Indianapolis Colts selected offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft with the idea that he would compete for the starting job at left tackle.

The role wouldn’t be given to him without competition, of course, but the rookie is preparing every day as if he is the starter. Going against veterans Matt Pryor and Dennis Kelly, Raimann is taking the process one day at a time.

“I’m going to prepare as if I was a starter every single day,” Raimann said at the team’s rookie minicamp this weekend. “I’m going to keep improving, I’m not perfect by any means but I’m gonna get better every single day. I’m going to work on myself and I think that’s all I can do, work my butt off and come in here and grind every day. ”

Raimann is likely to be working as the team’s backup left tackle when OTAs arrive on May 23. But the Central Michigan product will have every chance to compete with Pryor for the starting role.

Though Raimann has only played offensive tackle for two seasons, the Colts have been impressed with how quickly he has picked up nuances to the position.

General manager Chris Ballard told reporters Friday that if Raimann doesn’t work out at left tackle, the Colts will give him a shot to play right guard as well, per Zak Keefer of The Athletic.

“He’ll start camp behind incumbent Matt Pryor, but it’ll be an open competition – look for newly signed veteran Dennis Kelly to get looks there, as well. If Raimann doesn’t win the left tackle job, Ballard said the team could try him at right guard. ”

Despite being a consensus second-round pick going into the draft, Raimann may have slipped to the third round due to his shorter arm length (32 7/8 inches), his advanced age (will be 25 in September) and the fact that he recently switched from tight end to offensive tackle in 2020.

Picking up the position so quickly will help Raimann compete for the starting blindside role even though there is still plenty he needs to develop.

Rookies are always among the players to watch during OTAs and training camp but with the chance Raimann has to be a starter, he certainly will be near the top of that list.

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