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Eagles select former Canadian firefighter Danny Watkins

04.28.11 at 10:38 pm ET
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The Eagles selected one of the more interesting players in Danny Watkins 23rd overall Thursday.

Watkins, 26, had never planned on playing football. He was a Canadian firefighter who had gone to Butte junior college to pursue a fire sciences degree. While there, he was talked into playing football for the first time in his life, and after transferring to Baylor became a top prospect. His favorite sports franchise is the Vancouver Canucks. Here’s a story we did on him him from the combine.

Browns take Phil Taylor, Colts take Anthony Castonzo

04.28.11 at 10:29 pm ET
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The Browns traded up to the Chiefs’ slot Thursday, selecting Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor 21st overall. The Colts followed the pick by selecting Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo.

Caztonzo is a solid pick for the Colts, who desperately needed help on the offensive line. This also makes for a very interesting story line, as Castonzo made a name for himself playing his college football in New England, but won’t be a favorite of Bostonians at the next level.

Adrian Clayborn the 20th pick

04.28.11 at 10:14 pm ET
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The Buccaneers selected Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn 20th overall Thursday night.

Clayborn is not the most scheme-diverse guy. At under 6-foot-3 and 281 pounds, it’s 4-3 end or bust for Clayborn. Asked at the combine whether teams were talking about him playing linebacker, the very comical lineman paused and said, “I mean, jokingly.” If Gerald McCoy can step it up in his second season, this could be a feared defensive line.

Chargers take Corey Liuget, Giants get Prince Amukamara

04.28.11 at 10:05 pm ET
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After the Chargers selected Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, the Giants selected Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara 19th overall.

This is a great value pick for the Giants. Amukamara isn’t on the same level as a Patrick Peterson, but he made sense for plenty of teams that picked earlier. Amukamara had five interceptions in his junior season back in 2009.

Analysis: A closer look at Nate Solder, the newest Patriot

04.28.11 at 9:58 pm ET
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If the Patriots are going to let Matt Light walk in free agency, Nate Solder is an offensive lineman who should step in and contribute immediately for a line that’s in a state of flux. A First Team All-American, Solder was the first-ever offensive tackle at Colorado to earn consensus All-American honors. He has no injury history and has displayed remarkable durability, as he was on the field for all but two offensive snaps over his final three years at Colorado.

(Here is the report on Solder by D.J. Bean from the NFL combine, along with the ‘Potential Patriots’ entry done on the offensive lineman.)

New England offensive line has undergone pretty big changes this offseason ‘€” the uncertainty around the future of tackles Light and Nick Kaczur, and the retirement of guard Stephen Neal ‘€” and Solder certainly has a chance to step in and contribute immediately. The 6-foot-8, 314-pound Solder and the 6-foot-8, 314-pound Sebastian Vollmer give the Patriots a pair of massive tackles.

Here’s some video from Solder while at Colorado:

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Matt Light, Nate Solder, nick kaczur

Patriots select Nate Solder

04.28.11 at 9:51 pm ET
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The Patriots have selected Colorado tackle Nate Solder 17th overall in the NFL draft. Solder stands at a mammoth 6-foot-8 and 319 pounds.

Solder is one of the more raw prospects to go in the first round, as he is still getting used to playing tackle after being recruited like a tight end (a transition that is not uncommon). We got to know Solder back at the combine. Here’s our story from February.

Ryan Kerrigan to Redskins

04.28.11 at 9:44 pm ET
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The Redskins selected Purdue pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan 16th overall Thursday. They had the 16th pick from their trade with the Jaguars.

We’re very high on Kerrigan around these parts. His motor may be talked about plenty, but for good reason. He loves getting after the quarterback, and it showed with his 15 sacks over the last two years.

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