NEW YORK — On the clock with the No. 17 overall pick in the draft, the Patriots saw the chance to take their left tackle of the future. They didn’t pass on a value pick that also fills a need.
Considering Stephen Neal‘s retirement, Matt Light‘s pending free-agent status and the unhappiness of guard Logan Mankins over his contract situation, the Patriots added a much-needed piece to an offensive line undergoing changes. NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi reported the Patriots were worried another team would jump ahead of them for the right to take Solder.
Solder, who arrived at Colorado as a tight end before transitioning to left tackle, is known to be a tremendous athlete.
“To me, he’s one of the most gifted tackles I’ve seen in the last couple of years from a foot-technique perspective,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock noted. “However, I think he’s underpowered. He has a tremendously high ceiling. It makes sense form a left tackle perspective, because it gives Bill Belichick the ultimate flexibility in his offensive line.”
— Frank Tadych