With the 17th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots have selected offensive tackle Nate Solder from Colorado. Solder is a four year starter at left tackle, who was a former tight end. He's an All-American and has a Patriot mentality. Solder is the most athletic tackle in the draft with the greatest upside and has proven himself in college.
I had Solder as a late first prospect, but the Patriots must believe that they can re-sign Matt Light for another contract. Solder will benefit from a year of learning the system and I can see him being an elite bookend with Sebastian Vollmer in a year. Solder is the best combination of upside and proven ability in the draft and his technique is the main reason why he wasn't touted as the top tackle prospect. However, Dante Scarneccia, the Patriots' offensive line coach, is the best in the league and will be able to have Solder ready for the NFL.
Players left on the board: Cameron Jordan, Prince Amukamara, Gabe Carimi, Anthony Castonzo, Mark Ingram.