The Patriots' first-round draft choice Nate Solder played left tackle for most of his career at Colorado. If New England's recent practices are any indication, he could be in for a very quick change of scenery. Reports out of Patriots camp have put Solder at right guard in place of Dan Connolly and the retired Steve Neal.
Connolly did a fine job as a backup for Mankins during the Pro Bowl guard's eight-week holdout during the 2010 season, but his best role has been as a role-player and swing man for the offensive line, filling in where needed.
Solder's size could actually be a disadvantage for him at guard. At 6'8", he is considered a little tall for a guard, but his quick feet give him a chance against an agile defender like Ndamukong Suh. He'll need any chance he can get against the big All-Pro defensive tackle.
With question marks about Solder's lean frame coming out of college, who knows if he's physical enough to play down there and line up against guys like Suh with any kind of consistency. Of course, if the Lions really want to grab headlines, they'd put Nick Fairley in over guard and let the two 2011 first-round draft choices go at it. That would be a sight to see.