Giants Player Profile: Nate Solder, OT
2019 Season Rewind
2019 Season Rewind
Statistically speaking, 32-year-old offensive tackle Nate Solder was a liability for the Giants' offense in 2019, allowing 56 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, the most by any offensive tackle.
Solder, according to PFF's film breakdowns, also allowed 11 sacks, which was tied for second in the NFL among tackles. It was a season performance that earned Solder a 64.8 overall grade by PFF, and one in which even general manager Dave Gettleman, in stating the obvious, admitted wasn't a very good one for the veteran left tackle.
To be fair, it was also a trying time for Solder off the field. His son Hudson underwent his third round of chemotherapy. Although Solder never complained, an argument could be made that the ankle he had cleaned out before training camp bothered him last year.
Solder wasn't alone in his struggles, as the Giants' offensive line remained in the bottom half of the league in terms of performance, but did show improvement in some areas from 2018.
The unit went from 29th in run blocking per Football Outsiders to 25th in 2019 and from 47 sacks allowed in 2018 to 41 allowed in 2019. Pro Football Focus also graded the Giants’ pass-blocking from 66.2 in 2018 to 71.5 in 2019.
While Solder's performance declined from 2018, as a veteran left tackle, he deserves some credit for the improved chemistry on the offensive line from the previous season, especially considering his durability.
It wasn't enough to consistently protect whoever was under center, but the trajectory of the offensive line, alongside new additions, could spell some help and improvement for Solder moving forward.
Solder's ten years of NFL experience ranks him just behind quarterback Colt McCoy and wide receiver Golden Tate for most on the team,
Solder brings the highest degree of championship experience of any player on offense or defense, as he won two Super Bowls with the Patriots and knows what a winning team looks like.
But he also has a $19.5 million cap hit in 2020, the highest on the team, and has seemingly reached a point in his career where he has begun a decline.
Solder is believed to fit new head coach Joe Judge's mold for the locker room culture he's looking to build, and after being voted a team captain last year, it wouldn't surprise if he's again voted a captain this year.
If Solder is indeed coming to the end of his NFL career, the changes made by the Giants to their coaching staff should put him in an excellent position to finish strong.
New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and new offensive line coach Marc Columbo coached veteran offensive tackle Tyron Smith who continued to play at a Pro-Bowl level despite constant injuries.
Cowboys center Travis Frederick is another example of Garrett and Columbo's record with building up veteran offensive linemen. Solder, who has always been coachable, did well in England under Dante Scarnecchia, and there's no reason to think he can't be effective under Columbo's guidance.
The question is, where will Solder play? With the Giants having drafted rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, it makes sense to put Thomas at left tackle, the position he played in college.
Such a move would likely push Solder to the right tackle spot where he could keep the seat warm while rookie third-round pick Matt Peart and Nick Gates continue to get up to speed for the looming competition for the starting right tackle.