Does a much better job maintaining his balance and staying quick and compact with his footwork when he knows he has help on the outside in the form of a chip. However, when left on an island he's more athlete than technician and is consistently susceptible to the "up and under move." Also, he lacks the upper body strength to stick to linemen once they gain a step on him.
Now, he is a gifted athlete in space and showcased better pop and power as a run blocker than I expected. Looks natural on the move and has the ability to get into blocks quickly and create a bit of a surge at the point of attack.
Impression: A guy who will likely be over drafted based on upside, and rightfully so as he has the skill set to be as good as he wants to be in the NFL."
There are not many men on planet earth who measure at 6’9”, tip the scales at 300 pounds and can run a forty-yard dash in under five seconds. Mr. Solder is one of those rare men. This Buffalo began his college career as an in-line blocking tight end, but once coaches realized his feet were better than his hands—and he put on about 30 pounds—the Colorado staff made the wise move to shift Solder inside to offensive tackle following his red-shirt freshman year. Not just tackle, but left tackle…and he was superb from the get-go, recording a team-high 69 knockdown blocks and allowing just one sack the entire season.
The Buena Vista, Colorado native’s incredibly light feet and outstanding size combine to make him one of the more unique offensive linemen in the nation. Off the field Solder is the complete package—a bright young man with numerous academic honors who is admired for his work ethic and character. While the left tackle is body beautiful that does not mean that he is done sculpting that body. The prototypical weight for an offensive tackle is around 330-335 pounds and that’s at about 6’6” or 6’7”. It is clear that at just 300 pounds Solder lacks the type of bulk that most premier offensive linemen possess at the next level. With a stellar senior campaign, that is if Solder can progress both mentally and physically, this Buffalo could stampede right into the top 15 of the 2011 NFL Draft."
Negatives: Inconsistent knee bend... Footwork needs a little work... Choppy overly compact kick slide... Rises too early in pass protection... Will occasionally lean and overextend... Gets beat by good inside moves... Will allow his technique and footwork to get sloppy... Gets too upright when run blocking... Not especially strong at POA... Needs to add some bulk to rangy and over-tall frame... Lacks a great anchor, can be walked back... Inconsistent balance... Was kind of a project coming into the 2010 season."
Solder immediately stepped into the starting role at left tackle and did not miss a snap the entire 2008 season. While there was some time needed to adjust to the position, it was a pretty smooth transition since he spent most of his time blocking as a tight end anyway. The 2009 season continued to cement Solder's status as a superb offensive tackle. For his efforts, Solder was the only offensive lineman who was not a senior to make the All-Big 12 First-Team. That led to many preseason accolades heading into the 2010 season and Solder has been a rock in the offensive line and continues to get bigger and stronger.
Solder has everything one could want from an offensive lineman. He is strong and quick and has gone up against some of the nation's best defensive ends in the Big 12. A talent like his will not fall past the first two rounds of the draft."
He'll very likely go in the 1st Round, and though he'll need work, he is well worth it.
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