Packers Prospect Profile — OT Nate Solder, University of Colorado
Height: 6’8″ Weight: 319 lbs.
Born: April 12, 1988 From: Buena Vista, CO
2) High School / College Highlights: Solder’s foot speed and power make his 6-foot-8 frame even more imposing than it appears to the naked eye. He just looks like a guy that can dominate whomever lines up across from him. Solder was dominant in 2010, becoming the first Colorado offensive lineman to earn first-team All-American honors since 1979. He’s also durable, missing just two snaps since his sophomore season. Solder led the nation last year with 142 knockdowns and allowed only one sack and three pressures in 12 games
Solder was a 245-pound tight end and middle linebacker at Buena Vista high school inColorado and was rated the eighth best prospect in Colorado after his senior season. His dedication in the weight room transformed him into an imposing 319-pound tackle at Colorado.
3) College Stats: 49 games (36 at tackle), 308 key blocks, 20 touchdown-resulting blocks, 5 sacks allowed
4) NFL Combine Results: 4.96 40-yard dash, 21 bench reps, 32 vertical jump, 7.44 three-cone drill
5) Strengths/Weaknesses: Solder struggled against Cameron Jordan, an elite DE in this year’s draft, which raises some questions about whether he can consistently handle NFL pass rushers. His tall frame and wingspan helps him against bull-rushers, but also could hurt him against quick DE’s that take a sharp and driving angle off the line.
Solder is still learning how to play left tackle, which is probably his main weakness right now. He’s only been playing tackle for three seasons. Even though he’s still relatively new to the position, the results have been impressive. Most analysts agree that Solder has the physical tools to be a special lineman for a long time in the NFL as long as he continues to improve and learn the position.
6) Fit for the Packers: I can see Ted Thompson falling in love with Solder, but I don’t think he’ll last until pick No. 32. CBSSports.com projects him as the fourth-best tackle in the draft and the 24th best player overall. I think that actually might be a little low. Solder is a beast and the physical tools are there for him to become something special.
Any team would like to have an offensive tackle that can dominate an opponent. Right now, Josh Sitton is probably the only Packers lineman capable of beating up opposing defenders over the course the of a game. Adding Solder to the line would immediately make it more athletic and more imposing. If he falls to the Packers at No. 32, I would be extremely pleased.
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