One of the things we were most excited about this season was the Detroit Lions drafting Nick Fairley at No. 13-overall in the draft. There was talk at one point that he could be the first guy taken, but he ended up sliding to 13 for a variety of reasons.
So, Detroit got him and all we could think about was…’what if he can play?’ What if this guy is as good as advertised and you pair him with the monster Ndamukong Suh? That defensive tackle combination could be absolute murder and set the tone for an entire defense.
Except that it hasn’t.
Fairley suffered a stress fracture in his foot back in August, which got him off to a slow start. And he was inactive again on Sunday against the Broncos due to that foot acting up again. It’s kind of troubling that he still hasn’t gotten over this injury.
But, even when he’s been active for games, he’s only used as a rotational defensive tackle. Hardly the stuff of domination. And even then, he’s only played in three games, so who knows what he is really.
Still, it’s early. We’d love to see him get healthy so the Lions can find out what they really have in him. He was dominant at times at Auburn, and if he can regain even some of that at the NFL level, the Lions defense should be pretty fun to watch.