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2011 NFL Draft: Predictions For The Colts And Nate Solder

This sponsored series covers who we at Stampede Blue predict could be the No. 22 selection for the Colts in the 2011 NFL Draft. This is different from, say, the SB Nation Writers Mock Draft. I'm not one to think that Anthony Castonzo will be sitting there. Nothing against my colleagues, but I do not see any scenario that has Costanzo falling to No. 22.

For the Colts, I think a more realistic prediction is Derek Sherrod or Nate Solder at the 22nd spot. Both bring unique abilities to the table. Both fill needs, and with the glaring weakness that is the offensive line, in this draft need trumps 'best player available.' One does not sign a 35-year-old Peyton Manning to the richest contract in NFL history, and then place in front of him blockers of the talent level of Mike Pollak and Jamey Richard in 2011.

In Sherrod, the Colts gain a better pass blocker than a run blocker. In Solder, the run blocking is there, but people aren't sure he's good enough to stop speed rushers. Between the two of them, I go Solder. He's got long arms and can move well, meaning pass protection can be taught. Toughness and a 'nasty streak' can't, and that's what Solders seems to have over Sherrod.

So, for what it's worth, that's my prediction right now: Colts will take Nate Solder with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

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