Nick Fairley-the real reason behind Auburn's undefeated season

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Cam Newton may be receiving most of the hype this year for the Auburn Tigers, but Nick Fairley is possibly their best player. He has been a terror for opposing offenses this year. A junior, Fairley stands an intimidating 6'5 and weights in at nearly 300 pounds. He possesses excellent size and speed for the defensive tackle position.

He is very similar to my #1 ranked DT, Marcell Dareus, in that he is an ideal fit for the 3-4 defensive end position in the pros. This is due to his tall frame combined with size and strength that would allow him to demand double teams, yet still be able to set the edge against the run. However, with Fairley's quickness he could also play under-tackle in a 4-3 scheme.

Fairley has been the most dominant defensive tackle in college football this year recording 18 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks so far. He has been shooting up draft boards because he combines exceptional physical ability with strong play. The reason I am cautious with him, ranking him as my #4 DT in my NFL Draft Rankings is due to his lack of consistency.

This is his first year of doing anything in division one football. He attended a junior college and then proceeded to accomplish nothing last year at Auburn. This is his first good year of college football. If he continues to prove himself this year and works out well in the off-season he could be selected in the top-half of the first round. However, if he begins to fade their are plenty of other talented defensive tackles that could go ahead of him. There is no denying the physical ability of Fairley and it will be fun to watch him and Cam Newton attempt to lead Auburn to a National Championship.

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