Auburn’s Nick Fairley enters NFL draft

A day after Auburn quarterback Cam Newton announced that he was entering the NFL draft, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley followed suit.

Fairley isn’t quite as well known as Newton, but Fairley is generally considered a better pro prospect, and possibly the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, if the Carolina Panthers take a liking to him.

The 6-foot-5, 298-pound Fairley won the Lombardi Award as college football’s best lineman or linebacker and led the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (24).

ESPN’s Mel Kiper is among those who list Fairley as the No. 1 overall prospect in the draft.