This could end up being a genius move or one that
backfires. If Fairley puts forth a consistent effort, the Lions got a player
that some had rated as the No. 1 overall pick around the time of the NFL Scout
ing Combine. If, however, he takes series and
games off, as some scouting reports indicate, he could be as much a liability as
From the Vikings' perspective, there might not have been a more concerning pick for the Lions, given the Vikings' offensive weaknesses are the interior line and the lack of an experienced quarterback. The best counter move might be for teams to try to run right at the Lions' aggressive defensive tackles and see if they can exploit them in the running game.
Everyone nationally is going gaga over Fairley joining Suh, but they're missing something. The Lions had one of the best few defensive lines in the NFL already, as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers observed before Detroit ran roughshod over Green Bay's offensive line at Ford Field in Detroit in December, when the Packers' playoff hopes were put in peril when Rodgers suffered a concussion while running for his life. Adding Fairley makes a dominant unit even better.
Sure, a cornerback makes more sense based on need, but there are cover guys to be had in the second round and, really, how long do you have to cover when the quarterback is looking for safety rather than looking for a receiver? In my mind, the Packers, Falcons and Lions are the teams built to last in the NFC.
By adding Nick Fairley to a defensive line that already features reigning Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams, the Lions' defense has a good chance at becoming an elite run-stopping unit. Some doubt his questionable motor and perceived immaturity, but Fairley's athletic ability is off the charts.The Bears will now need to shore up its offensive line even further if the team is going to create any running lanes against the Lions.
Detroit's pick of Fairley will definitely influence Chicago's remaining draft strategy, possibly propelling the remaining interior blockers up the team's draft board.