On behalf of his Open Thread brethren,
Bill Polian Jamkel delivers the news.
The Colts choose Nate Solder (OT--Colorado) with the 22nd pick.
While many people have been down on Solder recently, he provides the highest potential of any OT in the draft, with most of the fear surrounding him being based on speculation at this point more than anything substantial from his game film. Solder was a very dominant left tackle at Colorado; in over 1,400 passing attempts, he allowed less than 30 hits or sacks on the QB. On top of that, the QB at Colorado can't exactly be described as "aware" of the pocket he's in, which makes Solder's performance all the more impressive. Despite being lambasted for his performance in the Senior Bowl, his performance in that game was actually indicative of how Solder plays. He may have a bad play or two like he did in the Senior Bowl, but in almost every game tape available for him, when he makes a mistake, he then goes and locks down the position for the rest of the game.
Solder is a raw talent though. He has only got 3 years of experience at LT and is a converted TE, which has caused most scouting reports to value him less. This lack of experience is shown in the technique Solder displays from time to time, but overall he is still a dominant offensive tackle that is playing better than the more "polished" Anthony Castonzo, which makes picking him much less of a gamble as Castonzo tends to be another popular pick for the Colts. With Gabe Carimi off the board already, Solder represents the safest bet at offensive tackle, and luckily he has all the makings of being a Pro Bowl LT if he can continue to improve his technique under professional NFL tutelage while maintaining a more solid weight. He is a model Colt LT, with all the intangibles and upside necessary to make him the franchise LT we've been looking for since the departure of Tarik Glenn. He might be a slightly more controversial pick, but with how the draft has played out so far, he is the best pick based on what the Colts need and what is available.
I'm stunned. I thought for sure it'd be Tony Ugoh. Reaction?
I'd say that the Eagles are now on the clock, except their pick has already turned in. It won't go up until 4 p.m. CDT, mind you, but the Saints (Jon Banks and LouisianaTexan) may want to start narrowing down their list.