Prospect

Photo of Nick Fairley
Nick Fairley (DT)
  • Height:
    6'4"
  • Weight:
    291 lbs.
  • Arm Length:
    34 3/4 in.
  • Hand Size:
    9 3/4 in.
  • College:
    Auburn
  • Conference:
    SEC
Featured Prospects

Selected by: Detroit Lions
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 13 (13)

Pick Analysis: The rest of the NFC North should beware after the Lions add Fairley to their defensive line. He was the most dominant defensive player in college football, and he will team with Ndamukong Suh to form a dynamic tandem on the interior. His character issues are overblown, and the Lions might have been the biggest beneficiaries of the surprising quarterback run during the early part of the draft.
Combine Stats
  • 40 Yard Dash4.87 sec
  • Bench Press- -
  • Vertical Jump31.0 inch
  • Broad Jump113.0 inch
  • 3 Cone Drill7.14 sec
  • 20 Yard Shuttle4.56 sec
  • 60 Yard Shuttle- -
Buzz

Overview

Fairley was once considered the consensus top defensive tackle prospect in the 2011 class, but his attitude and work ethic might have caused him to slip on some boards. Still, he projects to be incredibly disruptive against the pass and run. Nightmare to pass protect against. Possesses great burst, hands that never stop moving, brute strength to push the pocket, and a vast arsenal of moves. Against the run, keeps blockers away from his body, uses his height to find the football, and simply beats lineman with his quickness. Can sniff out screens and draws. There are almost no flaws with Fairley's physical tools, but his character and work habits should be checked out. Regardless, he is certainly a top-five talent.


Strengths

Fairley has a really nice combination of size, speed and explosiveness. Rare pass rushing talent. Displays tremendous get off. Can get to the quarterback with the bull rush, by shooting the gaps, can counter when initially stopped, and has a wide variety of moves. Gets penetration against the run. Great hands and motor.

Weaknesses

There are some questions about his character and off-the-field work-ethic. Was academically ineligible out of high school and attended junior college. Needs to watch his pad level against the run. Can be pushed back by the double team. Doesn't always keep his emotions in check. Committed multiple personal foul penalties during junior season.

Grade

8.5

 

Video Playlist

  1. Lions pick Nick Fairley No. 13

    Published: April 28, 2011 at 09:33 p.m.

    The Lions choose Auburn DT Nick Fairley with the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

  2. Un-Fairley judged?

    Published: April 21, 2011 at 06:46 p.m.

    Auburn DT and potential top 10 pick Nick Fairley addresses scouts' concerns about his dedication to football.

  3. 2011 Draft Profile - DT Nick Fairley, Auburn

    Published: April 7, 2011 at 03:38 p.m.

    A look at draft prospect Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

  4. Pro day: Nick Fairley

    Published: March 8, 2011 at 06:38 p.m.

    Mike Mayock and company evaluate Auburn DT Nick Fairley's pro day performance and discuss what it means for April's NFL Draft.

  5. First Draft: Nick Fairley

    Published: April 4, 2011 at 07:20 p.m.

    Get up close and personal with Auburn DT Nick Fairley who has a big appetite for sacking quarterbacks.

Watch more Draft video >
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