Nate is one of the biggest left tackles that I have ever profiled. I mean seriously...this kid is as big as the Concord. He is also a very athletic left tackle. Nate does a great job protecting the blind side of his QB and plays with the intelligence and pride that will do him well at the next level. He has very quick feet and mirrors his man when pass blocking. He has excellent balance and is strong at keeping his opponent away from his body to limit spin moves and bull rushes being effective against him. Nate has the athletic quickness and foot speed to block for screens and go and block on the second level. He is smart and learns as the game goes on. You can set this kid up once, but not twice, during a game. Nate has improved during the year in all phases of his game, which speaks to his work ethic and ability to take what he learns in practice into the game. He is a disciplined offensive lineman and that is one of the best attributes a left tackle can have to be successful at the next level. Nate reminds me a lot of Joe Thomas (LT Browns).
Nate struggles a bit when blocking for the run. He needs to get a lot stronger in his upper body. Nate needs to improve his upper body strength as quickly as possible. When he does, he could become one of the best. He has to learn to use his feet more when run blocking as well as finish blocks. For a big kid, he does not dominate his opponent when run blocking. In most games that I have watched, Nate seems to get better and better blocking for the run and is not on the ground as much; however, he still looks like he is thinking too much and not firing out and using all of his athletic abilities. Nate does get better as the game goes on, which is a very good thing.
When you are looking for a franchise left tackle, don't worry if the kid is a good run blocker. A left tackle must be a good pass blocker first. As long as the player you profile is good enough blocking for the run, is athletic, has a good a work ethic and is coachable, that's all you need to know about his ability to be better blocking for the run in the future. I'm not suggesting to you that Nate will not have a learning curve for the team that drafts him. I am telling you the learning curve in his ability to pass block at the next level without getting your franchise QB killed is very short. Nate has improved dramatically from the first game of the season. He is much more comfortable with his techniques and as far as blocking for the run, I feel he will be one of the better and most complete left tackles in the future. Until then, you can draft Nate and plug him into your lineup right away. Nate makes pass rushers take the long way around to get to his QB and just like the Concord, he can only land at airports that have a big enough landing strips. Nate will make a pass rusher take the long way around and not use a short landing strip to sack his QB. Nate (The Concord) Solder...this kid's got big time written all over him.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Nov/10