Solder, a first-round pick, started 10 games in place of Sebastian Vollmer this season, including the last five. With Vollmer and left tackle Matt Light ahead of Solder on the depth chart, the rookie was viewed as a luxury heading into the season, but he has provided some valuable reps.
"I think, number one, he's every talented athletically," Light said. "He's gifted with enormous size. I mean, the guy is 6-foot-100 — I don't know, he's a rather large human being. He can move really well. He really wants to finish each and every play, and he wants to get better. And he's taken a lot of the coaching from obviously Dante [Scarnecchia], but also a lot of the guys that have been around him. I think having a guy like [right guard] Brian [Waters] playing next to him has really done a lot to give him the confidence and the ability to go out there and see things a little bit maybe easier than what it would have been having another guy next to him."
Solder, who is closer to the 6-foot-8 range than the 14-foot-4 height described by Light, received some steep praise from Waters, too.
"He's as good as any young player I've ever played with," Waters said. "He has an immense amount of talent. He does a great job of working hard and getting on the details. He never is comfortable. He's always trying week by week to get better, and he's always asking questions. He's a good, young football player who has plenty of room to grow and can turn into a really great one eventually."