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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Would Patriots Consider Nate Solder, Justin Houston In First Round?

The 2011 NFL Draft starts April 28th at Radio City Music Hall, and SB Nation’s Brian Galliford continues his survey of the league with his latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft. In this version, the New England Patrriots select offensive tackle Nate Solder with the 17th overall pick and use the 27th pick on outside linebacker Justin Houston.

Galliford says New England is a “great situation” for Solder, who would eventually replace Nick Kaczur and the “aging” Matt Light. An “athletic marvel,” according to Galliford, Solder “would not need to start immediately,” which would buy him time to develop under Bill Belichick.

Houston, meanwhile, “is an excellent long-term prospect” who could thrive with the Patriots. He remains “under the radar” on most draft boards despite his “excellent athleticism at 270 pounds” and projects to have a solid career in 3-4 defensive alignments.

Elsewhere, Galliford has Boston College offensive tackle prospect Anthony Castonzo going to the New York Giants at the 19th overall position.