Nick Fairley Now Looks Like Top Pick

Posted January 12th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

With his standout performance in the BCS National Championship game, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley may have cemented his stock as the prospective number one pick in the NFL Draft. Fairley was already projected to go high, likely in the top three, but the dominance on a national stage may have propelled him into the role as the front-runner. Certainly the impact that Ndamukong Suh had in his rookie year could also help his chances. A junior he still has not yet officially declared for the draft but all indications are that he will do so before the January 15th deadline.

Ron Rivera, the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers, has stated that the defense will remain base 4-3. Fairley fits best in the 4-3 and that bodes well for his chances with a defensive minded coach taking over, but someone like Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers would be another consideration. The Panthers may need more help on the offensive side of the ball but the talent doesn’t seem to be there to warrant the top pick once Andrew Luck decided to bow out and return to Stanford.