NATE SOLDER, OT, COLORADO
Triangle Numbers: 6-9,315, 4.92
• Great size w/ huge frame, long arms and large hands
• Athletic and a natural knee bender with nimble feet
• Extremely quick and agile with outstanding balance
• Moves well laterally and is able to slide and mirror
• Excels in pass protection and can protect the edge
• Shows the ability to adjust and recover when beat
• Understands positioning / angles and seals off defenders
• Can sustain blocks and control defender once locked on
• Mobile w/ range to get out in space and to second level
• Intelligent with good instincts and overall awareness
• Durable with a great work ethic and is also a leader
• Lots of experience but still has considerable upside
• Is not very strong or powerful and has a narrow base
• May be too tall and has trouble with leverage at times
• Not stout at point of attack and struggles to anchor
• Isn’t a dominant run blocker and won’t get a big push
• Average hand use and lacks a violent initial punch
• Not really a finisher and could be more aggressive
• Still raw and will have to refine / polish technique
• Must continue to add weight and develop physically
Positives: Extremely athletic… Intelligent, heady… Reasonably good agility… Good length and long arms… Excellent speed, quick feet… Good pass blocker… Flashes the ability to play with good knee bend… Good lateral movement and slide… Does a reasonably nice job staying in front of defender… Good run blocker… Very solid drive blocker… Carries his pads well… Solid strength… Can coil up and generate reasonably good power… Does a good job staying on his blocks… Uses his hands well… Can get to the second level… Good flexibility… Breaks down well and does a nice job blocking on the move… More of a wall-off blocker than a mover down field… Hard worker, flashes a mean streak… Can play LT but fits best at Right Tackle in ZBS.
Negatives: Solid but inconsistent knee bend… Footwork needs a little work… Choppy overly compact kick slide… Rises too early in pass protection and bends at the waist… Doesn’t sit into his stance especially well… Will occasionally lean and overextend, lunges to reach the corner… Gets beat by good inside moves… Will allow his technique and footwork to get sloppy… Gets too upright when run blocking… Struggles to stay low and maintain leverage… Not especially strong at POA, punch lacks real force… Needs to add some bulk to rangy and over-tall frame… Lacks a great anchor, can be walked back… Inconsistent balance, looks awkward at times… Still somewhat of a project… His height is a disadvantage at this stage of his development.
Strengths: Impressive size and length for the left tackle position. Doesn’t carry much extra weight and shows an even amount of bulk in both his upper and lower body. Has good overall initial quickness and wins the snap consistently in run support to drive opponent off the ball in straight ahead blocking. Has the strength to consistently hook the defender and push down the line of scrimmage on angle blocks in run game.
Neutralizes linebackers with ease at the second level once he latches on. Very committed to technique in pass protect and maintains a short choppy set in his kick slide. His size can force the rusher to take a wide arc to the quarterback; arm length allows him to redirect pass rusher even if he loses the initial step. Proper lower body technique and strength give him the ability to maintain his base even when jolted back on a power rush. Smart and plays with good awareness and discipline; won’t incur many false start or holding penalties. Overall footwork is good for his size and length.
Needs Improvement: Doesn’t get great depth on his initial kick release; continues to work on it. Has trouble picking up quick, slanting defensive lineman on an inside rush. Won’t always play over his pads with balance, loses technique and overextends in both run support and pass protect at times. Has trouble with quick pulls to the inside and won’t always get there before the defender to open a running lane. Needs to anchor against the pass rush quicker, tends to get too deep in his footwork, causing the quarterback to reset in the pocket. Doesn’t recoil his arms quickly once extended. Recovery speed is only adequate.
Bottom Line: Nate Solder should immediately become one of the biggest tackles in the NFL at 6?9 315 pounds. He offers a good overall skill set with a strong commitment to technique consistency. His size can be a detriment at times however, as I noticed that he had trouble maintaining proper bend throughout the entire game. His height won’t always allow him to get lower than the man across from him and consistent leverage seemed to be a problem in space and along the edge. Solder did improve noticeably in his technique application as the season progressed, and showed that he could handle talented pass rushers by adjusting his technique. I feel Solder has enough athleticism and footwork to be a left tackle (coupled with his arm length) but may be best suited at right tackle, at least to begin his career
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_VBKVmhyAo[/pro-player]
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76BVEBtw-qk&feature=related[/pro-player]
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5DyDyVZO6U&feature=related[/pro-player]
Nate Solder is absolutely huge. 6-9. 315. Has room for more on that frame ( a lot more). Crazy athletic, especially for someone that size. A little raw. Not ready to play left tackle right away. Not ready to play right away. The good thing with him, is that he’s a good character guy, someone you can shape and mold into a great player. I think on either side, this guy is going to be a good player for a long time. I’ve seen Tony Boselli comparisons. Don’t know about that. But, I think if you get him with the 19th pick, it will be a very good one. Won’t pay off the first season. But after that, he has Pro Bowl potential