2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Northwestern College WR Shane Solberg

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents Today, I’ll be profiling Northwestern College WR Shane Solberg.

#33 Shane Solberg, WR, Northwestern College (Senior) –5110, 190lb


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Shane Solberg 5’11”, 190lb N/A N/A N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.55 N/A N/A N/A
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
9’8” 32.0 12

The Good

— Decent frame with solid lower half for his size
— Accelerates quickly when he gets up to speed
— Can stretch the field vertically down the seam from the slot
— Does a good job eating into the cushion of DBs, putting them in a bind
— Sets defenders up by cheating inside before breaking out toward the sideline
— Fairly strong at the catch point, showing contested catch ability over the middle
— Displays contact balance as a runner, running through arm tackles
— Shows suddenness as a route runner to create separation
— Has stop/start ability with the ball in his hand after the catch
— Has the vision of a running back/returner after the catch, evading defenders and working toward open space
— Does a good job showing awareness along the sideline
— Prolific production at the college level across three seasons
— Has the background of a returner and could contribute there at the next level

The Bad

— Isn’t going to wow you with game-breaking speed or explosiveness
— Catch radius is limited due to height and leaping ability
— Isn’t going to win most 50/50 jump ball situations
— May be only suited for slot work at the next level given size and athleticism
— Can do a better job showing more suddenness and being crisper out of his breaks
— Lacks long speed to pull away from defenders in pursuit
— Tends to make more catches in traffic rather than separating from coverage
— Had a knee injury and missed a year of football in 2022


—  Senior prospect from Boyden, IA
— Born September 14, 1998 (age 24)
— Father, Roger, is a Retired Master Sgt of the National Guard while younger brother, Beau, currently serves as an Iowa Army National Guard Specialist, older brother, Reed, played college football at South Dakota
— Starred at Boyden-Hull Rock Valley as a three-year starter at WR, RB, DB, and kick/punt returner
— Earned first-team all-state honors after leading his team to the 2A state championship as a senior; accounted for over 2,000 all-purpose yards and scored 27 touchdowns, also picked off nine passes, named the Northwest Iowa Player of the Year
— Committed to Northwestern College in Orange City, IA
— Played in 12 games as a true freshman and caught 35 passes for 542 yards (15.5 YPR) and five TDs and a kick/punt returner and returned 16 kicks for 338 yards
— Played in 11 games in 2018 and caught 84 passes for 1,374 yards (16.4 YPR) and 13 TDs, added 13 kick returns for 205 yards and 11 punt returns for 106 yards
— Started 11 games in 2019 and caught 85 passes for 1,264 yards (14.9 YPR) and 13 TDs, added three kick returns for 88 yards and 11 punt returns for 103 yards
— Got put on defense on a Hail Mary play and picked off the pass and returned it 94 yards for a TD
— Started 13 games as a senior in 2020 and caught 78 passes for 1,595 yards (20.4 YPR) and 18 TDs
— Suffered a torn ACL in the 2020 season
— AP first-team All-American (2019) NAIA All-American (2018-20), first team all-conference (2018-20)
—  Elementary Education/Psychology major

Tape Breakdown

Football players come in all shapes and sizes. Just because a player doesn’t play Division I FBS in a Power 5 conference, that doesn’t mean they don’t have talent to play at the next level. This is the case for Northwestern College WR Shane Solberg: a small-town farm boy from Northwest Iowa, who starred for Boyden-Hull Rock Valley High School, earning all-state honors as a runner, receiver, defensive back, and return specialist. He committed to play his college ball at Northwestern College in Orange City, IA and proceed to have the most illustrious career in school history as a wide receiver, finishing as the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards (4,775), receiving touchdowns (49), receptions (282); and second all-time in all-purpose yards (5,787).

When breaking down the tape on Solberg, there are several things that stick out. He is a perfect fit inside as a slot receiver, having the quickness and demeanor you look for at the next level. Check out this catch Solberg makes over the middle of the field. Locating the soft spot in the zone, he makes the catch, then shows off his elusiveness as a runner by spinning out of a tackle attempt to get up field and pick up additional yardage.

Solberg does a good job leveraging routes and getting on top of defensive backs before coming out of his breaks. Watch this clip of Solberg cheating inside on the post corner, selling inside on the defender only to break back to the sideline, getting ample separation to make the catch in-bounds for the chunk play.

As seen above, Solberg has good spatial awareness along the sideline as well as in the end zone, doing a good job of adjusting his body to make catches in-bounds. Here is another good example of Solberg adjusting to the heave by his QB throwing off his back foot, running underneath the pass and toe-tapping the sideline to get both feet down in-bounds to move the sticks. He does the same in the second clip. Running a corner route to the right sideline, he makes the tightrope grab along the white, completing the process of the catch before falling out of bounds.

Not only can Solberg work the short and intermediate portions of the field as a possession-style receiver, he also can stretch the seam as well from the slot. Solberg possesses deceptive build-up speed, which you can see in the clip below. Working to get an outside release from the slot, he accelerates from the defender as he stacks the DB vertically, catching the pass over the shoulder in-stride and takes off down the field, getting caught from behind inside the opponent’s red zone.

Solberg may not possess impressive long speed, but he is quicker than fast, and his burst shows up as a runner after the catch as well as when he works to get separation. Watch this play Solberg makes, catching the short comeback route near the LOS, then proceeding to turn up field, stiff arming a defender as he accelerates up the sideline, out angling the defenders in pursuit as he reaches the ball over the pylon for the TD.

He may not have ideal size, but Solberg came up with his fair share of circus catches during his time at the college level, making tough catches in traffic as he displays concentration on the football to reel it in. Here’s a great example against Morningside University, catching the deep ball with one hand as the defender traps his other to his side, securing the pass before hitting the turf.

Solberg also put his face in the fan as a blocker, showing effort to locate opposing defenders and get a body on a man like in this clip below as he attempts to seal off the pursuing defender from getting to the ballcarrier who gets to the sideline for the first down.



Shane Solberg is a playmaker from the NAIA level who had his opportunities to play for bigger universities but opted to stay home and help the Red Raiders compete for a national championship. He may have missed a year of football this past season, but his tape suggests that he can be a productive slot receiver at the next level that can also factor in as a return specialist. He may not have blistering speed, but you see the nuances of the receiver position on display as well as his ability to separate from coverage and create after the catch thanks to his acceleration and shiftiness in the open field.

When looking for an NFL comparison for Solberg, I found former New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola as a logical comp for several reasons. First, Amendola has nearly identical size and athletic testing results to Solberg coming out of Texas Tech (5’10 1/2”, 183lb, 4.58 40, 31.5” vert). Second Amendola also profiles as a quality slot receiver that enjoyed success in the Air Raid offense before going undrafted in 2008. He bounced around the league for a couple of seasons before finding a home in New England, starring as a reliable slot receiver that managed to be a chain mover for Tom Brady while also showcasing some of that splash play potential Solberg has in his tape in a similar package.

I could see a similar career path for Solberg at the next level, should he get an opportunity to get signed by a team prior to training camp. Amendola may be a “best-case scenario” for Solberg, but he has the tools to compete for a practice squad spot as a receiver, returner, and gunner on special teams to start his career and see if he gets the opportunity to crack a 53-man roster.

Projection: Day Three/UDFA
Depot Draft Grade: 5.9 – Undrafted Free Agent (Priority Free Agent)
Games Watched: at Morningside (2021) vs Concordia (2020) at Morningside (2020)

Previous 2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles
OL O’Cyrus Torrence LB Jack Campbell WR Zay Flowers WR Parker Washington
DL Bryan Breese DT Jalen Carter OT Darnell Wright CB Joey Porter Jr.
WR Jordan Addison DL Siaki Ika DL Keeanu Benton CB Kelee Ringo
CB Cam Smith OT Dawand Jones LB Noah Sewell iOL Ulu Oluwatimi
LB Drew Sanders iOL Jarrett Patterson OG Nick Broeker OT Broderick Jones
WR Tank Dell iOL John Michael Schmitz CB Devon Witherspoon OT Paris Johnson Jr
LB Trenton Simpson CB Christian Gonzalez LB Henry To’oTo’o WR Jayden Reed
S Brian Branch DL DJ Dale EDGE Isaiah McGuire S JL Skinner
S Jordan Battle LB Isaiah Foskey LB Ivan Pace QB Anthony Richardson
EDGE Will McDonald OG Andrew Vorhees TE Michael Mayer WR Jalin Hyatt
C Ricky Stromberg CB Terell Smith CB Kyu Blu Kelly LB Dorian Williams
DL Jerrod Clark WR Ronnie Bell CB Emmanuel Forbes LB DeMarvion Overshown
OL Peter Skoronski OL Chandler Zavala WR Rashee Rice DT Gervon Dexter Sr.
CB Anthony Johnson OL Steve Avila LB Daiyan Henley DB Sydney Brown
DE Keion White CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson CB Julius Brents QB Malik Cunningham
OT Carter Warren DL Lukas Van Ness OL Cody Mauch OT Alex Palczewski
WR Marvin Mims DL Tuli Tuipulotu WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba RB Israel Abanikanda
DL Mazi Smith DL Calijiah Kancey WR Josh Downs LB Owen Pappoe
EDGE Truman Jones LB Jeremy Banks WR Puka Nacua CB Rejzohn Wright
TE Darnell Washington DL P.J. Mustipher DL Zachh Pickens EDGE BJ Ojulari
OL Matthew Bergeron EDGE Ali Gaye EDGE Nolan Smith DL Keondre Coburn
OG Emil Ekiyor Jr. ILB Mariano Sori-Martin CB Jaylon Jones OT Jaelyn Duncan
WR Rakim Jarrett EDGE Will Anderson DT Jaquelin Roy RB Tyjae Spears
CB Clark Phillips DL Colby Wooden WR Jonathan Mingo EDGE Viliami Fehoko
WR Jadon Haselwood EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah CB Darius Rush LB Mohamoud Diabate
CB Garrett Williams CB DJ Turner S Ronnie Hickman EDGE Nick Herbig
S Jammie Robinson EDGE Andre Carter C Joe Tippmann QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
CB Deonte Banks CB Riley Moss EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore WR Jalen Moreno-Cropper
LB SirVocea Dennis WR Cedric Tillman EDGE Byron Young DL Byron Young
OG Jon Gaines II CB Eli Ricks EDGE Yaya Diaby DL Cameron Young
IOL Luke Wypler DB Quan Martin TE Sam LaPorta TE Zack Kuntz
RB Tank Bigsby OT Anton Harrison TE Luke Schoonmaker EDGE K.J. Henry
DB Christopher Smith OT Isaac Moore OT Richard Gouraige CB Kei’Trel Clark
CB Mekhi Blackmon LB Shaka Heyward OT Tyler Steen S Trey Dean
OT Blake Freeland EDGE Mike Morris S Brandon Joseph WR A.T. Perry
DB Jay Ward EDGE Lonnie Phelps OL Ryan Hayes S Ji’Ayir Brown
EDGE Zach Harrison DL Karl Brooks EDGE Myles Murphy QB Clayton Tune
WR C.J. Johnson WR Charlie Jones TE Brenton Strange TE Travis Vokolek
CB Alex Austin DL Moro Ojomo DB Anthony Johnson TE Payne Durham
TE Dalton Kincaid CB Darrell Luter Jr. EDGE Thomas Incoom EDGE Jose Ramirez
RB Xazavian Valladay LB Ventrell Miller CB Tyrique Stevenson EDGE Eku Leota
OT Wanya Morris WR Demario Douglas QB Max Duggan DB Jakorian Bennett
DL Cory Durden WR Mitchell Tinsley QB Adrian Martinez RB Devon Achane
WR Antoine Green RB Eric Gray CB Cameron Mitchell OL Chris Murray
LB Marte Mapu RB Roschon Johnson WR Xavier Hutchinson LB Amari Burney
S Daniel Scott WR Andrei Iosivas OL Joey Fisher TE Tucker Kraft
LB Ben VanSumeren WR Tre Tucker RB DeWayne McBride EDGE Yasir Abdullah
S Antonio Johnson S Jason Taylor II WR Quentin Johnston EDGE Derick Hall
RB Zach Evans WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton DB DeMarcco Hellams LB Carlton Martial
EDGE Jordan Wright QB CJ Stroud DL Brodric Martin RB Deuce Vaughn
WR Justin Shorter S Tanner Ingle WR Tyler Scott RB Jahmyr Gibbs
WR Kayshon Boutte QB Hendon Hooker DL Garrett Kocab QB Hendon Hooker
QB Will Levis RB Mohamed Ibrahim EDGE Tyree Wilson QB Stetson Bennett
QB Bryce Young TE Noah Gindorff EDGE Robert Beal Jr. TE Davis Allen
CB Cory Trice LB Drake Thomas CB Steven Gilmore LB Isaiah Moore
QB Jaren Hall WR David Durden TE Josh Whyle C Juice Scruggs
EDGE Dylan Horton EDGE Brenton Cox Jr. EDGE Nick Hampton S Brandon Hill
QB Holton Ahlers LB Johnny Buchanan QB Tanner McKee DB Chamarri Conner
CB Justin Ford EDGE Durrell Johnson OT Asim Richards WR Michael Wilson
QB Sean Clifford OL Warren McClendon Jr.
To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!