NFL Draft Coverage

Patriots Draft Nate Solder, Trade For Future Picks

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft went down last night, and we have a new Patriot.

The New England Patriots had two first round selections last night, thanks to the Richard Seymour trade. They used the first to select Nate Solder, a mammoth offensive tackle from Colorado. He'll be Matt Light's replacement. We got the 6'9", 320 pound giant at #17 overall.

The Patriots traded their #28 pick to New Orleans, who took former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. New England has three picks in round 2 and 2 in round 3 Friday night, and they own 2 first round picks next year.

Rounds 2 and 3 go down tomorrow night. The Patriots have 5 picks in that period, 3 in the second round.

Their #33 pick is a potential gold mine as a trading chip, and anyone without a quarterback will be selling their worthless souls to Bill Belichick to secure the first pick in the second round. QBs Ryan Mallet and Andy Dalton are still available as we go to press.

First Round

1) Carolina, Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

2) Denver, Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

3) Buffalo, Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama

4) Cincinnati, AJ Green, WR, Georgia

5) Arizona, Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

6) Cleveland trades with Atlanta, #6 for #27 and 2nd (59), 4th (124), 1(2012), 4 (2012)

- Atlanta selects Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

7) San Francisco, Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri

8) Tenessee, Jake Locker, QB, Washington

9) Dallas, Tyron Smith, OT, USC

10) Washington trades with Jacksonville, #10 for #16 and # 49

- Jacksonville selects Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

11) Houston, JJ Watt, DE, USC

12) Minnesota, Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

13) Detroit, Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

14) St. Louis, Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

15) Miami, Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida

16) Washington, Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue

17) New England, Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

18) San Diego, Corey Liuget, DL, Illinois

19) New York Giants, Prince Amukamara, DB, Nebraska

20) Tampa Bay, Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

21) Kansas City traded the 21st to Cleveland for the 27th and 7oth pick.

- Cleveland selects Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

22) Indianapolis, Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

23) Philadelphia, Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

24) New Orleans, Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal

25) Seattle, James Carpenter, OT, Alabama

26) Baltimore passed on their pick for some reason

 - Kansas City moved up to #26 by default, and selected John Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

27) Baltimore, picking now at #27, snagged Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

28) New England traded their pick to New Orleans for their #1 pick in 2012 and a 2011 second rounder (#56).

- New Orleans selects RB Mark Ingram, Alabama.

29) Chicago, Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

30) New York Jets, Mo Wilkerson, DE, Temple

31) Pittsburgh, Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

32) Green Bay, Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

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New England has yet to address their pass rush, and may need two of those three picks in the second round on a defensive end and an outside linebacker. They also need a guard to replace Steven Neal. We could also go RB, WR, or CB.

We presently have picks #33, 56, 60, 74 (3rd), and 92 (3rd) tomorrow. Here are some players we may be looking at in rounds 2 and 3:

- Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson.. Once thought of as the #1 overall, his bad knee kept him out of the first round. He had 15.5 sacks last year, and would fill Seymour's shoes.

- Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

- Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia...Houston or Ayers would fill the OLB need, although Ayers isn't a sack artist and Houston (10+ sacks last season as a 270 pound DE) isn't used to playing linebacker.

- Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois

- Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech... Mikel and Williams would join the Pats backfield tandem with Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

- Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova

- Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State

- Stefan Wisniewski, C, Penn State... We need one or two of these offensive linemen to replace Steven Neal and (eventually) Dan Koppen. Hudson can play guard or center, while Ijalana can go between guard and tackle.

- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

- Aaron Williams, Texas.... Harris is 5'9", which is too short. Williams will go quickly if we don't move on him. Either would be better than Terrence Wheatley or Jonathan Wilhite. Williams can play safety if need be.

- Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland... Hankerson and Smith are big, 4.4 outside threats.

- Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona

- Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

- Marvin Austin, DL, UNC... Reed would be a slow-but-talented linebacker for us, while Austin would be a short-but-talented defensive end. Bailey may also lack height.

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I'd take Akeem Ayers at 33, unless someone offered me something for the pick that I just couldn't refuse. There seem to be just 2 linebackers of any merit left, and we may as well leave the guy named Houston for the team named Houston.

I'd make an effort to get Denver's #36 and #46 picks, but I wouldn't break the bank.

If I didn't get those picks, I'd be looking for the versatile Rodney Hudson. If a better guard or center comes around, you can shift Rodney over a spot. I'd also give a lot of thought to gambling on Bowers and his bad knee.

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