Welcome to New England Nate Solder. I’ll be honest with you. You weren’t on the top of my list for draftees I’d be writing this column to. I, along with the rest of Patriots Nations, figured we’d be talking about Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram, JJ Watt or Ryan Kerrigan. These were the “make sense” and playmaker type picks Patriots Nation was looking for. It turns out we drafted a fleet footed, Andre the Giant resembling, smack you in the mouth tackle out of the University of Colorado. Originally I was apprehensive and very judgmental of drafting a tackle so early, that many thought would be available at both pick twenty eight and thirty three. As the pick marinated, I thought to myself this could be good for a few reasons. This will free up cap space with Matt Light and allow us to potentially resign Logan Mankins to a long term deal, which he deserves more than anyone. He has dedicated himself to this team when on the field, and talking with him last week he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. You will learn a lot from him. Tom Brady said he is one the meanest dudes in the league, and the kind of guy you want blocking nose tackles and defensive ends who are trying to kill you. Once you sign, this will sure up the offensive line of monsters for a long time. Also don’t pull a Michael Crabtree on us. You don’t seem to be that kind of guy, so prove us right. Having this job comes with great responsibility. You will be protecting the backside of the most iconic sports figure in the area since Bill Russell. I wrote an article on this a week or so ago about his importance and divine image to the public here. The worst part about a letdown is, I’d hate to have to answer to Giselle, whom we all know wears the pants in that Commonwealth Avenue penthouse, if Tommy Terrific gets a scratch on him or has one of his lady locks torn out. Remember the little hip twist, white guy dance he did down in Rio with his small time pimp pony tail? Well Mr. Solder, you’d have to answer to the creator of that. I can speak for most of Patriots Nation when I say I’m excited to have you here. There is a movement towards youth on this team that has been very veteran populated during its iconic Super Bowl runs. You are also in very good company, when it comes to drafting linemen early in the Coach Belichick era, Logan Mankins, Ty Warren, Richard Seymour just to name a few. Coach Scar sees huge promise in you. Based on the scouting report, you have been raved about in regards to intangibles, being coachable, toughness, and of course greasy fast speed. Any Joe Bag of Donuts can have those traits, but being a good football player who loves the game is what will separate you from the others. We are all looking forward a long and successful career for you here in New England, and if it isn’t, getting an ass kicking from Giselle isn’t half bad.
Here is the NFL Scouting Report on this beast
Nate Solder spent a couple years as a tight end at Colorado, first as a redshirt in 2006 and then as a freshman in 2007. He played in all 13 games in 2007 (mostly on special teams, and in special situations as a blocking tight end). While he certainly spent most of his time blocking, he did catch three passes for 50 yards on the season. For his sophomore campaign Solder added 30 pounds and was moved to the tackle position. Despite the adding of the weight, Solder remained surprisingly quick and has been timed running a 4.8 40-yard dash.
Solder immediately stepped into the starting role at left tackle and did not miss a snap the entire 2008 season. While there was some time needed to adjust to the position, it was a pretty smooth transition since he spent most of his time blocking as a tight end anyway. The 2009 season continued to cement Solder’s status as a superb offensive tackle. For his efforts, Solder was the only offensive lineman who was not a senior to make the All-Big 12 First-Team. That led to many preseason accolades heading into the 2010 season and Solder has been a rock in the offensive line and continues to get bigger and stronger.
Solder has everything one could want from an offensive lineman. He is strong and quick and has gone up against some of the nation’s best defensive ends in the Big 12. A talent like his will not fall past the first two rounds of the draft.
I’d like to wish a big congrats to one of my long time friends Brad Leclair on his wedding this Friday. I wish you and your bride nothing but wealth, happiness, and house music.
Also I’d like to give a thank you from one of my twitter followers PatsPrincessLA for the idea for this column.
Up next will be Welcome to New England: Ras I Dowling
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