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Nate Solder physical comps, fwiw

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, May 24, 2011.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Solder has been consistently described as somewhat raw, but with a rare frame and rare athleticism. It got me wondering...how rare, exactly?

    Here's his measurable line:
    6'8.25" 319 4.96/2.87/1.72 21 32" 09'02" 4.34 7.44

    I set out to find past OTs within at least shouting range of those numbers. I set some cutoffs:
    height > 6'6"
    40 < 5.15
    10 < 1.78
    VJ > 30"
    BJ > 8'10"
    SS < 4.55
    3C < 7.70

    Then I went back and looked through all OTs from the 2004 draft on. Here's the complete list of players making the cut:

    Sebastian Vollmer
    Jared Veldheer

    IOW, Solder is indeed a VERY rare physical specimen (and in pretty nice company).

    In case you're curious, other players coming pretty close:
    Winston Justice
    Eric Winston
    Robert Gallery
    Ryan Clady
    William Beatty
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  2. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    I also believe Solder's arm length is a couple of inches longer than Vollmer or Veldheer. Not looking to resurrect the arm length discussions from other threads, but it is another asset for a LT to have in the utility belt. The only downer was his bench numbers...but moving 300 lbs horizontally is much more important than moving 225 lbs vertically.

    I'm not a big Solder fan. If you are going to take a LT in the first round, they should be technically clean and dominant in at least one aspect of their game. I don't see that in Solder. I do see the skill set and recognize that he could put it all together with the right coaching. If he can turn his upside into production, he can move into the Ogden/Pace neighborhood (likely not the same cul-de-sac though).

    If the Pats are right on Solder, they have bookend tackles that don't need help with their assignments, freeing up the TEs to attack downfield and the RBs (paging Mr. Vereen) to slip out of the backfield. Brady may never throw another incomplete pass. If Solder struggles, there is a good chance the Pats offense will underachieve and Brady will enter the playoffs once again feeling like a crash test dummy. Gutsy call and probably not one that I would have made. Hopefully Solder will have some preseason games to work out the rough spots before the games count.
  3. jsull87

    jsull87 Rookie

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    very interested to watch him progress... i think he'll be getting alot of help from crump and Gronk when we play the colts though.
  4. TealSox

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    Nate Solder's size and athleticism are intriguing to me, but he was one of the many prospects I didn't want the New England Patriots. From the tape I was able to see of him, he didn't appear to be dominate. From his size alone, I expected to see a tackle that embarrassed college defensive ends or being embarrassed by speed rushers. Surprisingly, he seemed to deal with speed rushers well enough, but again, he wasn't dominate again college opponents.

    I find it ironic that Belichick will buy on upside when it comes to a offensive tackle, but generally avoid an outside linebacker with comparable upside and measureables. Not that I have an issue with it, because bust-ability seems to be lower with offensive linemen than defensive linemen/3-4 OLBs.
  5. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This isn't meant facetiously, but clearly the Patriots (especially Scar) really liked something about Solder. So what was it?
  6. borg

    borg Rookie

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    He's not a players rep for the NFLPA
  7. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    For those who don't get it, he's talking about Matt Light. Has he talked his way out of town a la Mike Vrabel? I think the fact that Mankins returned despite the acrimonious contract talks proves this team is above that. Matt Light will be a football decision. Does he want too much for what he brings to the table? Especially if we have an option..Solder

    I've seen the tapes of Solder. I think when he struggled it was a technique issue. Fortunately, we have one of the top 2-3 ol coaches in the league. His mistakes will be corrected. I'm not comparing the two from a performance angle. There is none yet. But, physically Solder reminds me of Tony Boselli.
  8. Shelterdog

    Shelterdog Rookie

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    I have no idea what Teal Sox thinks but the fact that he's really fast and has really long arms means it's going to be a lot tougher for players (including blitzing defensive backs) to get around him. This was always the worst part of Light's game; the Suggs sack early in the 09 playoff game comes to mind and if I remember correctly one of the Jets dbacks got around a slowfooted light in the playoff game as well.
  9. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    While I’m not a Solder fan yet I’m actually not going to hold the bench press numbers against him, when getting into that rep range it starts to become more about endurance than short term explosiveness, which is what players need (5 seconds of mixing it up with a D-lineman and then a relatively long rest). That being said, only an idiot would be trying to move a D-lineman primarily using arm/upper body strength, the lion’s share of the work will be done with the lower body, having the grace and coordination of a dancer is going to do a lot more to prevent sacks than having the strength of a World’s strongest man contestant.
  10. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's definitely intriguing, isn't it? I wonder whether they put high-round OL choices largely in Dante's hands: "he's yours to mold, you pick him and be responsible for the outcome." Along the same lines, Solder & Vollmer (and Cannon, for that matter) were reported to be intelligent guys and posted high Wonderlic scores. That seems to be another key point in trusting that a prospect can rise through L'Accademia Dante.

    Now turning around and looking at OLB prospects: who are the Solder-like über-rare bodies they've actually passed on? Let me try a set of target measurables based on DeMarcus Ware similar to my Solder cutoffs:

    height > 6'3"
    weight > 245
    40 > 4.70
    10 < 1.68
    VJ > 36"
    SS <4.20
    3C < 7.00

    And I'll add the requirement "the Pats had a realistic shot to get him, even if it took a moderate trade up." (E.g. Von Miller makes the cutoff, but we clearly can't accuse the Patriots of passing on him.)

    It turns out there's only been ONE player since Ware who fills the bill. Which leads me to 2 conclusions:

    1. We can't really say that the Pats keep passing on the OLB equivalents of Solder and Vollmer;
    2. There's a reason so many of us obsessed over Connor Barwin. ;)
  11. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I knew that was where this was going. . . . :(

    Seriously, though, I'm still at a loss to explain that. Heck, even if all Barwin did was line up as a goal-line TE his rookie season, he'd still have accomplished more than Chris Baker did. . . .
  12. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    I still struggle to understand that one, too. Barwin seemed perfect in so many ways. Ah well. What's done is done. Markell Carter, by the way, used to be a WR. So the receiver turned rusher theme is still in effect. :cool:

    Several of us thought Veldheer would be a good developmental pick. I wasn't sold on his technique at all, but I couldn't deny the athleticism. Solder is already much more proficient, and for all the criticism about his struggles, he only gave up 5 sacks his entire career. He's going to be very, very good.
  13. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Veldheer would indeed have been a very good developmental pick. But developmental picks from a school that I'd never previously heard of shouldn't be 2nd round targets. The difference between Colorado and Hillsdale is what the "why is Belichick a genius and Al Davis a crazy overdrafter" crowd is missing.
  14. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    There are plenty of gems in smaller schools, and playing for a big school with top talent all around a player can make them look better than they actually are. Considering we had 3 2nd round picks and a need at tackle I would have gone for him in the late 2nd.

    For someone that raw he did pretty damn well at LT this past season, and the funny thing is that he got a lot of time at Center in training camp, he probably would have been even more effective if he got reps at tackle from day 1.
  15. Shelterdog

    Shelterdog Rookie

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    Did he really do ok at LT? I didn't watch them play once this year; all I know is that they weren't very good on offense, he played a ton and according to pro football focus (which can be useless) he sucked.
  16. SteveKiner

    SteveKiner Rookie

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    I wouldn't agree with PFF and say Veldheer sucked. Like most rookies he had his good and bad moments. For certain stretches he looked like he will be a solid LT. Other times he looked like Max Lane against Reggie White. I think the Raiders fans overate him somewhat but compared to most of their other OL, he is breath of fresh air. Considering it was his rookie year, overall I would say he performed alot like Dan Connolly last year. Remember at times during the season Connolly was playing well and people were saying "Mankins who?". Then the next game Connoly would get beat a few times and everyone would be saying " get him out of there". Veldheer was like that. More good than bad games, but a few real clunkers.
  17. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That was mind-boggling. You bring in a super-raw left tackle with elite athletic tools for that position -- a kid who stands over 6'8" -- and you train him as a CENTER? Can you picture Sebastian Vollmer taking over for Koppen?

    Given that Veldheer had that kind of genius coaching staff behind him and was making the massive leap from opponents like Ohio Dominican and Saginaw Valley State, I thought he had a pretty impressive rookie year.

    But still...

    C'mon Snake Eyes, they turned those 3 2nd-rounders into Gronkowski, Cunningham and Spikes. You can't draft everybody!
  18. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Would you say that's more or less of a problem than playing in such a low level of competition that produces probably 5% of guys who have had successful NFL careers?

    Veldheer has a promising career. Marquis Colston is another one. Miles Austin is another. (WRs seem to make up most of those small school successes). But IMO it would be daft for a GM to put a 2nd round grade on one.
  19. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    I'd have taken Veldheer over Spikes and tried to get him later, while I like Spikes I think a potential stud O-lineman is worth much more, it's all about protecting TFB.

    And yes, I was shocked when they put him at Center, I was hoping he'd do horrible and get cut:D
  20. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    I think that brings up some fascinating questions about why a small school talent can become an NFL star, why a guy that never started a game in college can be successful (Cassel) and why a sure-fire 1st round pick can become a complete bust.

    One of the reasons is that I think there’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy going on, the guys drafted late won’t get the coaching attention and practice reps that the early guys will, and not surprisingly they won’t be nearly as successful. While not everything I do think that plays a part in the situation.

    As far as the Veldheer pick, the guy obviously had plenty of physical ability and we also had a need at that position, I don't think a 2nd would have been unreasonable, especially given where he was rated.
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