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Warren Sapp: Marcell Dareus is better than Nick Fairley

In mock drafts, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley is commonly sent to the Carolina Panthers with the No. 1 overall pick. But is Fairley even the best draft prospect at his own position?

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock doesn’t think so. And neither does NFL Network’s Warren Sapp.

“He doesn’t use his hands,” said Sapp on Total Access, after watching film of Fairley. “He’s just bigger and more athletic than most of the guys. … He must work on his technique.”

Like Mayock, Sapp believes that Alabama’s Marcell Dareus is the better defensive tackle prospect.

Statistically, Fairley has a big edge. He racked up 24 tackles for loss to lead all NCAA defensive tackles last season, adding 11.5 sacks, 21 quarterback pressures, and two forced fumbles. Dareus had 11 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 10 QB hurries, and no forced fumbles, although he was suspended two games and didn’t play a production-friendly position at defensive end in Nick Saban’s 3-4 scheme.

Mayock explained his preference for Dareus on Thursday:

“They are both great football players. The key in evaluating Fairley is whether or not you’re going to get the same player week in and week out. He has some work ethic issues, but is one of the most dominant defensive linemen I’ve seen on tape. Dareus is also a top-five pick, and … played through considerable injuries this year.

“Bottom line, Fairley may have a little bit more upside, but I think Dareus is the safer pick.”

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14 Responses to “Warren Sapp: Marcell Dareus is better than Nick Fairley”
  1. dilberry says: Feb 18, 2011 7:53 PM

    fair enough

  2. 7370355q says: Feb 18, 2011 7:55 PM

    Well I’m convinced

  3. hobartbaker says: Feb 18, 2011 8:01 PM

    If I was an NFL prospect I’d spend my summers painting Mayock’s house. All the way through college.

  4. FoozieGrooler says: Feb 18, 2011 8:06 PM

    Seems Warren Sapp likes reading his name in the news.

  5. shaggytoodle says: Feb 18, 2011 8:12 PM

    I don’t know if its a foolish question or not, but

    Does Sapp, and Dareus share the same agent?

  6. elvinhuxtable says: Feb 18, 2011 8:14 PM

    Sapp and Mayock both said Gerald McCoy was better than Suh before last year’s draft. Think they’d like to have that one back?

  7. toonsterwu says: Feb 18, 2011 9:26 PM

    I absolutely agree with their assessments. It shouldn’t be viewed as a knock on Fairley, but rather a positive for Dareus. I was quite lukewarm on Dareus for awhile, but the guy is a very disciplined DL guy who is able to put pressure on the pocket. He’s better against the run against Fairley.

  8. cytofed says: Feb 18, 2011 9:58 PM

    Carolina I would put a penny on what sapp said. This man does not know how to do anything beside hate on the raiders and he’s not even good at that. Marcel is a Tyson Jackson at best in the NFL while fairley may be the next John Henderson in his prime.

  9. nothimagain says: Feb 18, 2011 11:17 PM

    It’s fair to assume on some message boards some Alabama fans are trying to gloat to Auburn fans that Mayock and Sapp say Dareus is the better player. It’s fair to assume that some Auburn fans are dumb enough to take the bait.

  10. ravensfreak00 says: Feb 19, 2011 7:50 AM

    If I were the Panthers, I would take the relatively safe pick in Da’Quan Bowers.

  11. grpatriot says: Feb 19, 2011 8:23 AM

    Darius has a leg up having Nick Saban as his Coach! Both players in the SEC and both will go early!

  12. realfootballfan says: Feb 19, 2011 9:08 AM

    Although I actually agree with them this time, let’s not forget they both were tooting a similar horn for McCoy over Shuh this time last year….just saying.

  13. sterilizecromartie says: Feb 19, 2011 10:08 AM

    AJ Green #1

    In a draft where everyone is a high-risk/high-upside type, Green is the only stud in this draft that appears to be a can’t miss. I’ve heard some say he is the best WR prospects since Calvin Johnson.

  14. skoobyfl says: Feb 20, 2011 9:09 AM

    Sapp should stick with the comedy roast circuit as his main job. NF should translate well in the NFL & be one of the best in the league within 3 years. He has so much talent & one great coach will make him that much better.

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