2011 NFL Draft Grades: Patriots, Ravens Receive Mixed Grades After Selecting Nate Solder, Jimmy Smith

The New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens each drafted a Colorado Buffaloes player in the first round, Nos. 17 and 27, respectively. Mel Kiper loved both picks in his 2011 NFL Draft grades, but was not enthused overall with one of those teams' drafts.

At No. 17, the Patriots selected offensive tackle Nate Solder and sees him as an immediate starter to protect Tom Brady's blind side. But he gives the Patriots a 'C+' overall, but notes that the team is loaded with picks in 2012 (provided there is a 2012 draft).

The Ravens took cornerback Jimmy Smith 10 picks later to fill a major need in their secondary. That was a great value selection and then the team drafted a few receivers. Overall Kiper graded the class a 'B+', right above the Broncos' 'B'.

Visit SB Nation's 2011 NFL Draft hub for everything you need --draft grades, winners, losers, undrafted free agents and more! Head on over to the Ralphie Report for more on these former Buffs.

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