Good News: Extremely disruptive…Elite quickness off the snap to penetrate…Explodes off the ball and is simply too fast for guards at times…Keeps hands active…Owns an array of pass-rush moves, including a terrific swim…Punishing tackler with good short-area burst…Displays a strong initial punch to rock defenders on their heels…Possesses exceptional natural strength and can bull rush through blockers…Good overall awareness and effort…Sniffs out screens and works hard to get to the play…Elite production.
Bad News: Character concerns regarding work ethic and effort…Owns a "soft" frame…Can play too high at times…Not really a plugger against the run, but is still very effective as he gets penetration and often forces the play out wide.
2010 Statistics: Consensus All-American and winner of the Rotary Lombardi Award…Registered 60 total tackles with 24 tackles-for-loss and 11 5 sacks…Added 21 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Prediction: Last season, Fairley emerged as one of the most dominant and feared defensive players in the country. He's extremely disruptive from the interior and has the ability to be an elite player as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme. His only question is off-field related, as many question his work ethic. Fairley transferred from a junior college in 2008 and failed to make much of an impact in 2009. His "soft" build at the combine also raised some red flags. Fairley is a top-five pick based on talent alone, but his character concerns will likely keep him from being drafted that high. Still, the Auburn standout won't have to wait much longer to hear his name called.