- Associated Press - Thursday, April 28, 2011

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (AP) - The New England Patriots have drafted tackle Nate Solder (SOUL-der) of Colorado with the 17th pick of the NFL draft.

The Patriots need help on the offensive line. Guard Stephen Neal retired after last season, tackle Matt Light is a free agent and guard Logan Mankins remains upset with his contract status after sitting out the first seven games in a dispute over a long-term deal. He was designated their franchise player after the season.

New England needs a pass rusher, but several of the top ones already had been picked.

The Patriots also have the 28th pick in the first round.