In Don Banks' latest 2011 NFL mock draft, he has the Detroit Lions picking Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder. Many people believe the Lions will select a defensive lineman, a linebacker or a cornerback, but Banks sees the Lions picking Solder. His reasoning is that all of the top corners will be off the board and selecting Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith would be a reach, so the best pick would be to upgrade their offensive line.
Last week on Pride of Detroit, I talked about how Solder's versatility was one reason why the Lions might select him. With the left tackle position still belonging to Jeff Backus and the right tackle position likely belonging to Gosder Cherilus if he's healthy, Solder could be forced to play guard during his rookie season if he ended up in Detroit and wanted to start. At the very least, he would have to be able to play multiple positions in case a starter goes down with an injury, so the fact that he is versatile is a big plus.
Aside from the debate about whether or not the Lions should go with an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, there is also a debate about who the top tackle is. Solder seems to be ranked first more often than not, but USC's Tyron Smith, Boston College's Anthony Castonzo and even Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi are in the mix as well.
For a look at past 2011 NFL mock drafts, check out this StoryStream.