The New England Patriots’ first first-round pick of the 2011 NFL Draft—this one from the Oakland Raiders—has them picking Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder, a 6’8" converted tight end who’s considered extremely raw at the position. That’s the kind of pick the Patriots, with their serious NFL depth and massive quantity of draft picks, can afford to make; Solder might not contribute immediately, but he’ll have time to mature in the position.
The Patriots remain as unpopular as ever among the NFL fanbase at large—the pick was announced to a chorus of boos nearly as strong as the one that greeted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. That’s right: The Patriots are almost as unpopular as the NFL lockout. Tom Brady is almost as unpopular as Jerry Jones. Bill Belichick is almost as unpopular as—well, everybody knows Bill Belichick is extremely unpopular.
The Patriots will use their original 2011 NFL Draft pick next, at No. 28 overall. For a full recap of the 2011 NFL Draft to date, follow along here at SB Nation St. Louis.