Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
Now we’ve come to the small school darling of this tackle class. Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning has prototypical size for the position, along with a great physical frame and frame of mind. When I say I want killers on the field, this is what I’m talking about. Penning always wants to get that last shot in, and you will remember when you had to go up against him. He has great bend for a huge prospect (6’7 325) and all the tools, and a good coaching staff getting their hands on him could unlock one of the NFL’s best tackles when Penning hits his prime.
I think Penning might have a hard time adjusting to the NFL. He’s quick for a big guy but I’m not sure that he’s fast. Penning’s size might be enough to carry him through until the other side of his game comes along, but I worry that he might get eaten alive mentally by rushers who are just processing things way faster than he is. Is that the worst thing in the world? No, he’s going to be a rookie. Every rookie goes through some version of that transition. But quite frankly, I needed a weaknesses paragraph and scouts don’t seem to have a lot of bad stuff to say about this guy.
Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann was originally a tight end and you can tell in the way he moves during his game film. Raimann only began his transition to left tackle during the height of the pandemic in 2020, and this quick turnaround makes him all the more enticing to scouts. Raimann’s background gives him terrific coordination, and an eyebrow-raising mix of smoothness and speed that is truly unmatched in this tackle class.
That being said, there are drawbacks to only having two years under your belt as an offensive tackle. As one might imagine, he doesn’t have the same instincts as a veteran offensive lineman would. There’s also not a lot of variance in his game, with the NFL’s draft profile on him calling his protection sets “mechanical and predictable.” I suppose most of this comes with the territory of such a raw prospect, however. Other than things that you simply can’t teach without experience, Raimann doesn’t have all that many weaknesses to cover up for which is, for a guy who was a tight end two years ago, extremely impressive.