INDIANAPOLIS - David Bakhtiari played his college ball at Colorado where he spent four years without ever sniffing a bowl game. With a losing history like that, it would be understandable if the 6-4, 299-pound tackle wishes he played his college ball elsewhere.
Bakhtiari didn't like all the losing in Boulder, but he did enjoy the experience and says he would do it all again.
"I was forced to fight through so much adversity," said Bakhtiari, who is projected to go in the second round by most projections. "I think it speaks volumes to how I played and how I worked my tail off despite not winning a lot of games. I think that will show teams that I am ready to play no matter what."
For one of those seasons he joined Nate Solder at tackle in the Buffs starting line. Solder played left tackle while Bakhtiari manned the right side. When Solder was drafted by the Patriots in 2011, Bakhtiari moved over to the left and finished his career there.
He said he spoke with Solder often about the Combine process and the two remain close. In fact, Solder counseled him on his decision to turn pro (Bakhtiari is a junior-eligible) and even invited him to Foxborough to take in the Patriots game against San Francisco in December.
"He gave me some good advice and talked to me a bit about the jump to the pro game," Bakhtiari said of Solder. "Basically he told me to do what's best for me and to be myself here at the Combine. I was up there to watch the Patriots-49ers game … it was a great game. It didn't seem like it was going to be at first but it turned out to be a great game. Nate invited me for the weekend and it was a great time."
Bakhtiari comes from an athletic family. His oldest brother, Eric, is a defensive lineman for the Titans and another brother, Andrew, is a junior defensive end at the University of San Diego. In addition, his uncle, Dan Jackson, played quarterback at California. Now he's looking to carve out his own niche.