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SB Nation Mock Draft: Solder and Houston to Pats

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SBNation.com recently released a new version of their mock draft, and here's what Brian Galliford came up with for the Pats:

17. New England Patriots: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado. Nick Kaczur is on his way out, Matt Light is aging, and Sebastian Vollmer can't play two tackle spots at once. Solder is an athletic marvel with more upside than any tackle available this year, and would not need to start immediately for the Pats. Great situation.

Getting Solder would be a good scenario for the Patriots.  He's a former tight end who has very quick feet and very good athleticism which is really important for left tackles.  My only worry would be that his style and size are a little too similar to Sebastian Vollmer's.  Still, getting Solder would give the Patriots two book-end tackles.

At 28, Galliford had the Patriots take Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston:

28. New England Patriots: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia. Houston remains firmly under the radar despite being perhaps the closest thing to a true 3-4 outside linebacker available. A productive junior entrant with excellent athleticism at 270 pounds, he is an excellent long-term prospect and a great fit for New England.

Houston hasn't been much discussed by Patriots fans.  He weighed in better than expected at the combine (270 lbs when listed at 258), which gives him the potential to set the edge.  He has experience as a 3-4 outside linebacker from his final year at Georgia, but still doesn't have much experience in coverage.  I think the problem that I have with Houston is his lack of pass rushing moves.  He's a bit like Adalius Thomas in that he is an excellent blitzer, but not necessarily an excellent pass rusher.  He's got great athletic potential, but he would certainly take some grooming at the next level to be an effective every down linebacker for the Patriots.

Overall, a pretty solid draft for the Patriots.  If I had the power to make the picks (and drafted the same positions), I likely would have taken Gabe Carimi and Muhammad Wilkerson.  Still, you can not complain about the Solder pick, and the Houston pick has a potentially high reward.