2024 NFL International Player Pathway spotlight: Florian Bierbaumer, WR & TE, Austria

The NFL International Player Pathway Program class of 2024 was recently announced as 16 players from various backgrounds will compete for spots on NFL rosters this year. For fans of the European Football League, Austrian prospect Florian Bierbaumer’s inclusion, this year is no surprise as the physically gifted receiver and tight end hopes to become the latest Austrian and ELF player to make the jump into the NFL.

Bierbaumer takes aim at the NFL through the NFL International Player Pathway Program as he was one of the 16 players from around the world selected to compete for their spots on an NFL squad in 2024.

Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway program aims to give elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

Since its inception, 37 international players have signed with NFL teams (allocated, drafted, and or signed as a free agent), with 18 IPP athletes currently on 2023 NFL rosters.

Five players – Jordan Mailata, Jakob Johnson, Efe Obada, Sammis Reyes and David Bada – have seen active rosters with the Philadelphia Eagles, Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders, since the program began in 2017.

The 6’6,” 240-pound receiver was an impact player for the Vienna Vikings in the European League of Football catching 36 passes for 556 yards and five touchdowns for the powerhouse Vikings over 11 games in 2023. The year prior, in 2022, Bierbaumer was on a tear through the first three weeks with the eventual champion Vikings, catching 12 passes for 216 yards and three scores before a knee injury ended his season prematurely.

In 2021, Bierbaumer played for the Graz Giants in the Austrian Football League. There, the big-bodied pass catcher hauled in 37 passes for 740 yards and six touchdowns. Now, the 25-year old is eager to follow in the footsteps of Austrian tight end Bernard Seikovits, now with the Arizona Cardinals. His new head coach Chris Calaycay, who also coached Seikovits, thinks Bierbaumer could be the next NFL prospect out of Vienna.

“Florian Bierbaumer is a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. Not only that he has incredible size and body control, but his hands are huge. With Florian we add a national team level player who has a 6‘ 6 NFL type of body and a versatile skill set. Our opponents’ defenses will have problems on how to defend this guy. He’s going to make people better around him and I am happy that we have another former Graz Giant representing the Vienna franchise in the European League of Football. I can’t wait for Florian to showcase his abilities on this big European stage, and I wouldn’t be surprised if scouts or experts start to consider him as a future IPPP prospect.”

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and