Tag:Nick Fairley
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:38 pm

Report: Fairley missed meeting with Fins, more

Posted by Will Brinson

Nick Fairley has fallen all the way to No. 8 in our latest CBSSports.com mock drafts, and, based on the reports that emerged Wednesday about his inability to be on time, there's a good chance he could fall further as the draft approaches.

According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Fairley "skipped a scheduled dinner with Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland in Alabama."

And Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Fairley missed his flight to Indianapolis for the NFL combine, missed a meeting with a team in Indy and was also late to a team meeting at Auburn's Pro Day.

Yes, it's a red flag party, and yes, Fairley's now been tagged for every possible bad stereotype of NFL Draft busts -- he's been called out for taking plays off on the field, he's been called a "dirty" player, he's been hit with the one-year wonder label, off-field issues seem to be coming out of the woodwork, and he even got compared to Albert Haynesworth.
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We talked with Fairley way back at the Super Bowl and noted how much work he had to do in terms of "stuffing stereotypes."

It seemed, for quite some time anyway, that Fairley was doing a pretty good job of just that. He'd kind of gotten himself locked into the top of the draft there for a while, but now it's pretty difficult to find a mock draft that has him in the top five, and his stock's been dropping for over a month.

It's entirely possible that all of this is a complete pile of garbage, and Fairley could turn into an elite defensive tackle in the NFL. But his status as an elite prospect has taken on fire-smoke status, and seeing him get taken before the Titans draft would be pretty shocking.

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Posted on: April 5, 2011 5:41 pm

Is Fairley a younger version of Haynesworth?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Remember when we talked about how Auburn DT Nick Fairley had a pretty decent shot of going to Carolina with the No. 1 pick in this month’s draft? Hell, a Panthers beat writer and I spent some time during Super Bowl week discussing the pros and cons of the Panthers making such a move with Fairley.

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Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who believes Fairley is a No. 1 pick. And, if you read this New York Post report, you can imagine why Fairley could drop even further than, say, the top-five. Because when your name is compared to that of Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth, as some of the Post’s sources have done, it’s not always such a good thing.

“You’ve got to tread lightly with him because, as good as he looks on film, he could be a one-year wonder,” an AFC general manager told The Post this week. “It’s not like [Ndamukong] Suh, who dominated for a couple of years and you had no doubts whatsoever about.”

Instead, Fairley has impressed for only one season in a Tigers uniform (and he WAS extremely impressive, recording 12 sacks during Auburn’s national championship campaign), and he was accused of dirty play on more than one occasion. His off-the-field character, much like Haynesworth, also has been questioned.

And remember, he made only 28 tackles and one sack as a sophomore after spending a season in JUCO. So, aside from his monster 2010, there’s not much history of consistent top-notch play there.

“Everybody is entitled to their opinion,” Fairley said at the NFL combine. "Some people think I play the game the way it should be played.”

Hopefully for Fairley, some of those people include NFL team executives.

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 8:50 pm

Player invites keep going out for NFL draft

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Andy already told you about how Alabama WR Julio Jones and Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn said they were accepting the NFL’s invitation to attend the NFL draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

Looks like they’re not going to be the only ones.

According to NFL.com, more than 20 invitations have been sent out, and quite a few have already accepted.

Those include Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller (although he’s one of the plaintiffs in Brady vs NFL ), Alabama DL Marcell Dareus, Alabama RB Mark Ingram, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn DL Nick Fairley and Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara.

The NFL has not yet confirmed who the league has invited.

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Posted on: March 20, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 10:00 pm

Panthers won't signal what they'll do with No. 1

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was discussing quarterbacks and the positives displayed by the cornucopia of signal-callers that will be available in April’s NFL draft. Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallett are some of the guys at whom the Panthers are looking.

But Rivera, who’s said that the team is really focusing on eight players for the No. 1 pick, revealed that five of them are NOT quarterbacks. Great news, by the way, for Jimmy Clausen. For now, at least.

Panthers decision

“We have a number of positions that we've identified as needs. We're trying to get to that point where we can start filling those needs as the time is appropriate,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “If you can fill a need through free agency, we're going to do it. If we have to go through the draft, we'll do it. If we've got to make a trade, we'll do it.”

Some names thrown out there by staff writer Joe Person include defensive linemen Da’Quan Bowers (though his stock certainly had dropped since the NFL combine), Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley. In reality, any of those players could go No. 1, though Fairley also isn’t as highly-rated as before.

Or, like Rivera said, the team could go the trade route and address another team need – like WR or CB.

“Anything's possible,” Rivera said. “We've got to finish the process and see where it all fits.”

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Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:35 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 11:53 am

Hot Routes 3.10.11 squeezing 'em in

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Chris Cooley reads every ounce of his fan mail (even if it’s several years later).

Nick Fairley is now a Nike guy .

The Broncos are working out Von Miller (who probably doesn’t fit their new 4-3 defense anyway).

Mike McCarthy is making no bones about it: Nick Barnett is no longer a starter .

The Steelers don’t want Tiki Barber.

Less than a year after mysteriously quitting football, former Dolphins second-round pick Pat White has retired from baseball .

Another Larry Fitzgerald contract bit .

The Dolphins will have a private workout with Cam Newton. That’s the benefit of being a professional sports organization: you get to workout with some of the best athletes in the world. It’s the perkiest of perks; Newton ain’t working out with, say, a southern Florida branch of Charles Schwab.

Just to be clear, Randy Moss is not returning to the Titans.

Good news passed along from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King on Thursday: Steve Sabol is recovering well in a Kansas City hospital. The president of NFL Films suffered a seizure on Saturday.

Kevin Faulk says his surgically repaired ACL is 70 to 75 percent recovered at this point.

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Posted on: March 6, 2011 5:24 pm

Fairley's draft status is dropping

N. Fairley's draft status has begun to drop (Getty). Posted by Rob Rang

Much of the attention following the Combine has been centered on the team interviews with quarterbacks Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett and others, but according to three sources from different clubs, it is another high profile player who set off the most alarms at the Combine.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was described as a "JUCO kid to the core" by one longtime personnel man, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

By "JUCO" the source is, of course, referring to the fact that Fairley played junior college football (Copiah-Lincoln Community College) prior to starring at Auburn. Asked to elaborate why being a "JUCO kid" is a bad thing, the source explained.

"Just because a player went to a junior college doesn't mean, he's a bad guy or won't be successful at this level, obviously. There are lots of junior college players who have gone on to great NFL careers."

The stereotype is that JUCO players aren't as smart, hard-working, and well coached. They are also viewed by many clubs as players most likely to have had off-field troubles in the past and potentially more in the future. The source refused to go into specifics, but said, "Everyone is coming down hard on the quarterback, but [Fairley] is the one to worry about."

Despite measuring in at a shade under 6-4 and lighter than expected (291 pounds), Fairley "looked soft," according to the source. This first impression of Fairley's conditioning was only reinforced by his "limited" understanding of defensive schemes during team interviews. The source also referred to the fact that Fairley doesn't use his hands well and has been able to be successful largely due to his natural talent.

"Oh, I'm not saying he's not talented. Hell, he might be the most talented player in the whole damn thing. But, he's no slam dunk at this level. Not the slam dunk people who watched him tear up the SEC or in the big game [BCS National Championship] might think."

The other sources weren't as forthcoming with details, but didn't sound surprised when I told them I heard that Fairley was slipping down boards and that, as such, I had pushed him from No. 2 in the mock draft I'd written prior to the Combine to No. 8 in my current one.

This post was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: March 2, 2011 12:13 am

2011 NFL combine winners/losers

Posted by Will Brinson

This isn't every single winner and loser from the 2011 NFL combine, but it's five of each (and mostly bigger names) that really stood out to me. Take it with a small grain of salt, if only because the inclusion of someone like Cam Newton doesn't mean he won't be a top-five pick. It just means that his appearance at the combine didn't exactly solidify him as someone that's a can't-miss prospect. The combine almost never provides full-on proof of someone's status, but it can either answer some questions or really highlight some issues with various draft prospects.


Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska -- People were knocking Amukamara for his speed before the combine. Uh, whoops: he ripped off a 4.43 (4.37 was his first unofficial time, by the by) and proved everyone wrong. Suddenly there's a decent chance both he and Peterson are gone by the end of the top-10 picks.

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama -- So it turns out that Jones did all the combine drills with a fractured foot. That's pretty impressive. It's way more impressive when you see that he somehow managed to close the gap between he and the consensus top wideout A.J. Green.

Marvin Austin, DT, UNC -- He and Robert Quinn were two UNC guys who helped themselves (most of the other ones didn't) at the combine. Austin, the guy who helped take the Tar Heels down via Twitter, has a pile of red flags, but the athletic upside in Indy is going to make someone take a chance on him much earlier than they would have a year ago.

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State -- To paraphrase Neil Diamond, "I'm only gonna do one thing, but I'm gonna do it good." Paea could only lift at the combine but MAN did he lift, setting the record for 225-pound bench presses with 49.

Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State -- Ponder all of a sudden finds himself generating "first-round buzz" after a strong combine (on top of a very strong Senior Bowl). Two months ago, that would have been laughable.


Cam Newton, QB, Auburn -- Newton won't fall out of the top 10 in any mock draft between now and the time the NFL Draft happens because he's an absolute mutant of an athlete. But there are clearly red flags going up everywhere from his "entertainer" comment to the possibility that he underwhelmed teams in interviews to the poor showing he had when throwing the ball.

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas -- Even if he did perform well on the field, his press conference performance and unwillingness to address drug rumors sunk his stock to the point that there are plenty of Ryan Leaf comps floating around.

Kendric Burney, CB, UNC -- Burney ripped up the Senior Bowl but that in-game action (some folks have said ) didn't translate to measurables, and a 4.75 40 isn't exactly the speed a tiny corner wants to show people looking to invest.

Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson -- If you're going to claim that you're "100 percent" at the combine -- even after surgery -- it's probably a good idea to participate in some of the drills, you know?

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn -- Fairley's still got a very good chance of being the top overall pick in the draft, and the dude had some pretty darn good measurables at the draft. But the gap between he and Marcell Dareus is MUCH shorter than it was a week ago.

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Posted on: February 27, 2011 6:20 pm

Fairley faces plenty of questions on 'dirty play'

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nick Fairley's a really nice dude off the field, but he gets plenty of questions about his "dirty" play in between the hashmarks.

We asked him about it in Dallas, and the number of inquiries into his ability to keep cool have been through the roof at the NFL combine. Fairley had a similar answer in Indy as well.

"I haven’t really met with a team yet, but I have talked to the media, and how I've addressed it is everybody's entitled to their opinion," Fairley said. "A lot of folks out there say I play the game the way it should be played. I hit a light switch when I hit the field and don’t turn it off until I leave."

Fairley also addressed the notion that he took some plays off (he wisely disagreed with that assessment) while in college.

There's no real way that he can dispel those two issues in the next two months, short of simply convincing various front office guys for NFL teams that he's not the person that many folks perceive him to be.

But he's doing a good job of addressing the issues head-on and offering an alternative way ("on-field motor!") of looking at some of these beliefs about his style of play.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com