Fairley to Team Up With Another Star Tackle

Nick Fairley discusses being a surprise draft pick of the Detroit Lions.

New York--The Detroit Lions selected Auburn star Nick Fairley in the first round of the National Football League Draft on Thursday night setting the stage for a dynamic one-two punch on the Lions' defensive line for years to come.

Fairley will join Ndamukong Suh at defensive tackle giving the Lions a pair of quick, aggressive and athletic pass rushers Suh was a standout rookie last season for Detroit.

The fact the Lions drafted Fairley was a surprise for several reasons First, most assumed the Lions would not go for another defensive tackle in the first round with Suh on board The other major reason is many assumed that Fairley would be drafted by another team before the Lions had a chance to make their selection at the No 13 spot in the first round.

Suh was the AP NFL?Rookie of the Year last season after being selected No 2 in the 2010 draft out of Nebraska.

Asked if he is excited about playing with Suh and another young player with promise, quarterback Matthew Stafford, Fairley said, "I'm thankful that they came and picked me to be part of that group and I'm ready to get to work."

Commenting on Suh, Fairley said he has met the Detroit star "He gave me some great pointers and for me to be next to him, he will hopefully take me under his wings and show me the ropes as a rookie."

Fairley was named SEC Defensive Player after taking a key role in leading Auburn to a 14-0 season that included an MVP honor for his play in Auburn's victory over Oregon in the BCS Championship Game It was just Fairley's second season at Auburn and just the second year he played defensive tackle Prior to that he spent two seasons in junior college at end, but redshirted one year, so he declared for the NFL?Draft after his redshirt junior season.

Nick Fairley celebrates Auburn's national championship at the BCS Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz.

Asked if he is excited about joining an NFL?team that appears to have positive momentum, the defensive tackle said, "I'm ready to go in there and get the work done and put the hard work and time into it on the field and in the film room Once I get there I just can't wait to see what happens."

Asked if he was surprised that he wasn't drafted earlier than 13th, Fairley said, "Actually, I'm just happy I've been telling everybody that even though I went No 13, it's my No 1 pick I'm ready to go, I can't wait to get to the ‘D'."

Fairley, who grew up on the Gulf of Mexico coast in Mobile, said he is not concerned about going to a cold climate city like Detroit Asked if he knew about the cold climate in Detroit, Fairley said, "Yes, I know it is, and I'm ready for it."

Fairley is shown in action last season at Mississippi State.

Asked by reporters at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night what he believes his strength is as a defensive tackle the consensus All-American said, "Just being able to rush the passer, that's one of the strengths I have, as is a quick first step."

The defensive tackle said he is eager to get his NFL?career started "I'm ready to go in there and get the work done and put the hard work and time into it on the field and in the film room."

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