For the 13th pick of 2011 NFL, the Detroit Lions select Nate Solder, OT from Colorado University. While the Lions have many needs, the smart move here is to go with an offensive tackle. Matthew Stafford needs a LT he can rely on for years to come. They need a lineman that will be able to hold their own against the likes of Julius Peppers, Jared Allen, and the countless number of blitzers on the Packers. Standing at 6’8” and weighing 319 lbs., Solder is a force on the line. He displays good quickness has a massive wingspan and he also has the athleticism to pull around the end and pancake defenders. The Lions line needs to be rebuilt with players like Jeff Backus, Gosder Cherlius, Jason Fox, and Corey Hillard listed as tackles. The line gave up 24 sacks and were ranked 6th in the NFL in QB hits. With a dynamic receiver in Calvin Johnson and a promising TE in Brandon Pettigrew, it would be nice for Stafford to have more time to throw.
The only negatives on Solder are that he played for a school that really didn’t have a prolific offense. Colorado was ranked 59th in passing offense, 85th in rushing offense, and averaged 24 points per game. I’m no expert but from watching his highlights it seems like he needs to work on picking up the quicker blitzers. After all of this with the right technique and work I think Solder will be a force for years to come and will become one of the best left tackles in the game.