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Monday, April 4, 2011
Draft Watch: Colorado OT Nate Solder

By Bryan Broaddus and Tim MacMahon

ESPNDallas.com looks at potential Cowboys picks for the April 28-30 NFL draft.

NATE SOLDER
Position: OT
School: Colorado
Scouts Inc. ranking: No. 18 overall

Nate Solder
Nate Solder was durable in college, playing 2,540 of Colorado's 2,542 offensive snaps the last three seasons.
Bio: First All-American offensive tackle at Colorado since 1979. Was a unanimous All-Big 12 selection and finalist for the Outland Trophy as a senior. … Coaches gave him a 94.3 grade for the season, crediting him with a team-high 142 knockdown blocks. … He played 2,540 of 2,542 offensive snaps the last three seasons after moving from tight end to left tackle. … Allowed five sacks on 1,400 called pass plays in those three seasons.

Size: 6-8 , 319
40-yard dash: 4.99
Arm length: 35 inches
Hand size: 9 7/8 inches
225-pound bench press reps: 21
Broad jump: 9-2
Vertical jump: 32 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.34
Three-cone drill: 7.44

Broaddus Breakdown (viewed California, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Senior Bowl games): Was the starter at left tackle. A converted tight end that has made the switch to tackle. Long, lean build. … Has impressive footwork and athletic ability. Feet and hands work well together. Does a nice job of adjusting off the snap to movement of the defender. … Team runs a shotgun attack, so played in a two-point stance quite a bit. Nice ability to kick-slide away from the line of scrimmage. Able to work all the way to the outside to reach his man. Doesn’t labor to get away from the line at all. Has good balance and control, no wasted effort or movement. … Is not a puncher with his hands. Tends to place them more than striking defender. Has a hard time when defenders lower their shoulder and try to run over him. He doesn’t always extend his arms to keep the defenders off his body. … Has a real problem when he has to deal with a hard inside charge. He can redirect but isn’t always powerful enough to stop or slow down the defender. Really struggled with this area in two games I studied, California and the Senior Bowl. Everything to the outside was fine, but when he had to take a hard power step inside, he was unable to complete the block. … Red flag for me was the strength numbers from the Combine. … Not asked in this running game to have to take defenders on one-on-one and power them out of the hole. More angle or down blocks. Works well on the combine blocks with guards because of his athletic ability. … Does a nice job when he has to get outside in space. Good on the edge and second level at fitting with his man and running with him. … Nice job with his initial quickness off the snap. Stays after his man to try and complete his block. … Not the type that is going to hammer you. Will have no problem matching up with outside rushers because of feet, but will need to develop strength in his upper and lower body.