Raimann, who is 2.01 meters tall and weighs 138 kilos, will strengthen the team of experienced quarterback Matt Ryan as an offensive tackle or guard and ensure that Ryan, who will soon be 37, can distribute the ball in peace. Never before had an Austrian been given a spot on an NFL team via draft.
That entices Raimann with a contract of around five million euros. In the autumn, Raimann could become the first field player from the Alpine Republic to play a match in the National Football League. The native of Vienna previously played for the Central Michigan Chippewas as a student at Central Michigan University. There, he only switched to tackling during the Covid pandemic. Previously, Raimann was also active as a tight end and in Austria with the Vienna Vikings as wide receiver.
“I’m super excited”
A circumstance that particularly fascinated the American media and observers, but perhaps also contributed to Raimann not getting a chance in the second draft round as expected, because his lack of experience was apparently a reason for some leaders to hesitate. The Colts had swapped their picks in the second round, and after wide receiver Alex Pierce (53 ‘) and tight-end Jelani Woods (73’), Raimann was selected as the third player.
In the video interview with the club’s own Colts broadcaster, Raimann was full of anticipation: “I’m super excited. I did not know the Colts would pick me, even though I was hoping.” Raimann shared the historic moment with his parents and girlfriend Calli in their family home near Detroit, Michigan. “It was an incredible week, I can not even describe it.”
“Talent to start training”
At the Colts, Raimann fits perfectly into the exchange scheme, as the team around head coach Frank Reich needs a left tackle position after Pro Bowler Eric Fisher’s departure. Raimann will likely fight 27-year-old Matt Pryor for a spot in the starting lineup.
Chris Ballard, general manager of the Colts, expects a lot from the new signature and can also imagine Raimann in various positions. “We think he has the talent (tackle, ed.), But we want the best five players on the field. If he’s in the top five, he’ll be there, whether it’s a tackle or a guard – whoever the coaches see as the top five players will be on the pitch. We think he has the talent for the starting lineup. ”
“And now I’m here” – career as a “coincidence”
His football career was basically a “coincidence”, the Burgenlander explained after trying the usual Austrian sports such as skiing, snowboarding and football as a child.
“Just before my 14th birthday, I was playing football with some guys for fun and I was immediately hooked. We played awful, but I really enjoyed it and just loved watching. But I also wanted to try it in a club and went to the Vienna Vikings. Then I went to high school as an exchange student, then to college, and now I’m here. ”
the sky as the border
The Colts, where running back Jonathan Taylor is currently scoring points on offense along with wide receivers TY Hilton and Michael Pittman, had one goal in the draft, which manager Ballard revealed. “Above all, I wanted more explosiveness in our team.”
Raimann would fit in well, as Ballard explained: “He is still learning to play this position. But if you look at his development over the years, the leap he took in his final year of college, you can see that he will be continues to improve. “
For Raimann himself, only one thing applies at the moment: prove yourself in training and games. “I just need a chance and with my work ethic I get the best out of it. I just want to train, improve and play the game I love. I want to try to be as good as possible. I think only heaven is the limit. “
“My hands are ready for anything”
Raimann probably also benefits from his varied football training. After all, he can not only block and topple the opponent, but also run with the ball. Dare he catch the ball again and play as a tight end? “Absolutely, my hands are always ready for anything. Whatever the coach wants from me. We’re all training so we can bring the Super Bowl back to Indianapolis. “
So far, three kickers from Austria have worked in the NFL in the 1970s and 1980s. Former soccer player Toni Fritsch won the Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys in 1972, Raimund “Ray” Wersching had success in 1982 and 1985 with the San Francisco 49ers. The emigrant son from Mondsee also played the last NFL game of an Austrian in 1987. Third in the group was Toni Linhart, who was born in Styria.
Austrians Sandro Platzgummer (RB / New York Giants) and Bernhard Seikovits (TE / Arizona Cardinals) are also involved in an NFL team. Austria’s Leonel Misangumukini hopes to be selected by an NFL team as a defensive lineman following the current draft through the International Pathway Program (IPP). Then four Austrians would be part of the champion class of American football.
Profile of Bernhard Raimann
- Born: Vienna
- Date of birth: September 23, 1997
- Marital status Unmarried
- Height: 2.01m
- Weight: 138 kg
- Hold: Indianapolis Colts
- Position: Offensive tackle (left tackle)
- Career: Vienna Vikings (14 years), Delton-Kellogg High School in Michigan / USA (2015/16), Central Michigan (2018-21)
- Education: Ballsportgymnasium Wien (Matura 2017 as the best of the year), then military presence service, Central Michigan University from 2018 (statistics, mathematics)
- Other: Raised in Steinbrunn (Burgenland), in his youth football player at SC Bad Sauerbrunn, originally played receiver and tight end, was a member of the junior national football team, a member of the first team of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) 2021