Path to the Pros: Nate Solder

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When you hear about athletes "blowing up" the NFL Combine, you don't normally think about offensive linemen. But Nate Solder, the big OT out of the University of Colorado at Boulder, is not your typical bookend tackle.

Consider these measurables: the average NFL left tackle is 6'5" and 305 pounds. Solder is 6'8" and weighs 314 pounds. And he ran an official 40-Yard Dash in 5.05 seconds, tops in his position at the NFL Combine. "Number one is my goal," Solder said before the Combine. "I want to be the number-one guy in all categories."

Admittedly, that was a tall order for the tallest player at the annual scouting event. But Solder checked in with a standout performance in Indianapolis after weeks of prep training at Velocity Sports Performance in Irvine, Calif.

In addition to his swift 40, Solder had the best 10-Yard Split [1.62 seconds]—a valuable tool for evaluating initial burst and explosiveness—among offensive linemen.

In the end, Solder was a top-five performer in his position group in all but one category. Having tree branches for arms—35½ inches—makes the 225-Bench Test especially challenging. But his 4.34-second 20-Yard Shuttle was tops for offensive tackle prospects, as was his 32-inch Vertical Jump.

With 10 days and counting until the NFL Draft, the next top spot Solder is vying for is the first offensive lineman off the board in Round One.

With his massive frame and superb athleticism, Solder is certainly no tall tale. Check the video above for further proof.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | PATH TO THE PROS | SPORTS | BENCH | SPORTS PERFORMANCE | VELOCITY | VERTICAL JUMP | SHUTTLE | LINEMAN | VELOCITY SPORTS | BENCH TEST