Defensive Tackle - Nick Fairley, Auburn
Private Workout: Yes
Private Visit to Team Facility: Yes
Attended Proday: Yes
Traditional penetrating 4-3 DT somatotype, will disrupt the pocket unless teams get a double team on him. Makes the rest of his line play much better. Only a 1 year starter after spending time in JUCO. Nasty player with good aggressiveness and nice defensive mean streak. Will need to work on staying lower to actually earn double teams in the NFL, similar to the learning curve Marcus Thomas faced coming to Denver out of Florida. Showed great hustle and energy in defeating blocks early in games, dominating his bowl game with that formula, but is also part of a heavy rotation designed to keep him fresh. Even at that, he had conditioning issues that teams will need to feel comfortable with, as well as motor issues in terms of earnign the double teams, but then slacking off. In the NFL, teams will be more than happy to surge over him if he stops moving his feet against a double team. Overall, teams feel he just needs to put his JUCO attitude behind him, and get serious about football. Has elite strength and quickness, and one on one can beat anyone. Has a minor red flag regarding a shoulder injury preventing him from being abel to contribute at 100% immediately, but nothing that would outweigh long term fit.
Where He Goes in the Draft:
What is Denver's Interest In Him?
Despite his fit for the Broncos scheme, and his overall talent ceiling, there are significant limiting possibilities to his ability to contribute right away, and several of these factors are compounded by the lack of any veteran leadership on the DL, and by Denver's altitude. I see a lot of Marcus Thomas' game in Fairley, and expect a similar learning curve, both physically and schematically. If Fairley starts to drop, and Denver can move to follow him, picking him up inside the top 10 has to be a backup plan. However, it is worth noting that Denver has put a lot of effort to date into getting the complete picture on Fairley, and have had relatively little to say on the subject. And any veteran of watching the leading up to a draft knows that silence can speak volumes.
|CB Patrick Peterson|
|DT Marcell Dareus|
|Top||OLB/DE Von Miller|
|1||DE Robert Quinn|
|DT Nick Fairley|
[Note: All players in the table are ranked by overall grade within their round grouping, however, the round groupings are based on where this player will likely be drafted based on where teams are currently selecting in the draft. Therefore a player is ranked within a group by his level of ability, but players in nearby groupings may have higher or lower actual grades, despite being in a different group. Confusing enough for you? --Styg]