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Sunday, February 27, 2011
Nate Solder has an impressive combine

By Matt Mosley

I know that most mock drafts have indicated that offensive tackles won't go off the board in the first 15 picks, but that doesn't mean we have to believe them. Take a guy like Colorado's Nate Solder for instance. Perhaps he was inspired by the Buffs' upset win against the Longhorns in men's basketball Saturday.

Whatever the case, I don't think he'll be there when the Giants select at No. 19. There's always a run on offensive tackles, and it will surprise me if a team in the top 15 doesn't take Solder or USC's Tyron Smith, who didn't work out Saturday because of fluid on his knee.

Todd McShay and Kevin Weidl put together a nice report on some of the offensive linemen. I'm a little disappointed not to see Baylor's Danny Watkins mentioned, but we'll cut them some slack. Here's what they wrote about Solder:

"The 6-foot-8, 319-pounder displayed remarkable speed and explosiveness for a massive left tackle prospect" said McShay and Weidl. "The 10-yard split is the most important part of the 40-yard dash when evaluating offensive linemen because it shows the initial burst and explosiveness that translates to their responsibilities in the trenches, and Solder had the top 10-yard split (1.62 seconds unofficial) among all offensive linemen and the fastest 40 (5.05) in the offensive tackle group.

"Solder also proved his short-area explosiveness by turning in a broad jump of 9-foot-2, tops among all linemen, and he showed adequate flexibility and solid lateral agility during drills."

I've seen some mocks with Solder going to either the Giants or the Eagles at No. 23, but I don't think he'll be available at that point. And surely the legendary offensive line coach Howard Mudd doesn't need a first-round pick to turn this unit around.