Nick Fairley was once the consensus No. 1 talent in the 2011 NFL Draft, but questions about his drive and his consistency caused him to fall all the way to the Detroit Lions at No. 13, which could prove to be one of the most impressive picks in the draft so far. Fairley, who picked up 12 sacks in his 2010 season after barely registering in 2009, is one of the most imposing defensive presences in the draft, and if he can harness that talent in the pros, he and 2010 draft pick Ndamukong Suh will immediately become one of the most dangerous defensive line duos in the draft.
Fairley could well have been the St. Louis Rams’ pick if he’d fallen one more spot, but the Detroit Lions were ready to make their move and did it. One of the most interesting ongoing stories in the NFL Draft will be how Fairley plays compared to the 12 guys ahead of him.