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McShay on Nick Fairley: “He has a chance to be a bust”

Early in the offseason, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was a near-consensus favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Word has since leaked from Carolina that the Panthers are “not sold” on any of this year’s defensive linemen. NFL Network analysts Warren Sapp and Mike Mayock have gone on record to say they don’t even believe Fairley is this year’s best defensive tackle.

If Fairley isn’t even the best player at his position, it would be illogical for the Panthers to take him first.

ESPN director of college scouting Todd McShay took it a step further in a Wednesday morning conference call with the media. McShay, who previously described himself as “blown away” by Fairley’s March 8 Pro Day, now believes Fairley has the potential to be a colossal flop at the next level.

“The more you watch Fairley on tape, the more worried you get he’ll be a bust,” said McShay, who also questioned Fairley’s work ethic and consistency. “He has a chance to be a bust.”

McShay then recalled the recent history of defensive tackles in the draft. He called the percentage of busts at the position “shockingly high.”

Like so many of this year’s draft-eligibles, Fairley is a polarizing prospect. While Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com blames Fairley’s alleged fall down draft boards on media creations, McShay cites game film for his opinion of Fairley.

McShay just liked Fairley a lot more earlier this month.

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33 Responses to “McShay on Nick Fairley: “He has a chance to be a bust””
  1. revisisland says: Mar 23, 2011 12:25 PM

    So basically McShay just heard what the hell everyone else was saying and decided “wow i sound like an idiot how do i make up for the statements i made about his pro day, oh i know i’m just gonna say what everyone else is saying”. I’ve said this time and time again, McShay and Kiper suck, Mayock is the best. I need to contact ESPN i want McShay’s job, shoot my Sister could do a better job than McShay….and I don’t have a Sister.

  2. udub says: Mar 23, 2011 12:26 PM

    Uhhhh doesn’t everyone have a chance to be a bust??? Nothing is certain in the draft

  3. wryly1 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:27 PM

    The late, great, Bill Walsh had a wise saying on ‘one-year-wonders’. ” Don’t take the one yaer and look forward, he said, take the one year and look back.”

    In other words, don’t expect what you saw happen one time to happen all the time.

    The question marks about the true NFL potential of prospects like Fairley and Quinn are entirely legit.

  4. TJ says: Mar 23, 2011 12:27 PM

    McShay is such a fraud. It’s a travesty he is director of college scouting at ESPN.

  5. mvp43 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:27 PM

    Draft “experts” & Weathermen……..

    Same, same

  6. medtxpack says: Mar 23, 2011 12:28 PM

    ive got to wonder that with so many DLs becoming busts and it being “shockingly high”, is it that these beast of college football play subpar O-Lines? to me that has to come into discussion and could probably explain alot of how guys get high marks pre draft and then bust…

  7. ohkhan says: Mar 23, 2011 12:30 PM

    incredible insight! he has the chance to be a bust! like every other prospect drafted! That’s going out on a limb mcshay, keep up the top quality work

  8. stubbyjones says: Mar 23, 2011 12:31 PM

    This coming from someone who said the following about Jamarcus Russell

    . “I can’t remember being in such awe of a quarterback in my decade of attending combines and pro days.”

    ESPN Todd McShay

  9. tv426 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:31 PM

    I’ve never been sold on this guy. Watching him play in a number of games always had me scratching my head and thinking why so many were so high on him. Most games he’d disappear for long stretches. Then he’d make a decent play. Big deal. You can pick out a great many other guys that could give you that much.

  10. phintasm says: Mar 23, 2011 12:31 PM

    I’m no pro scout or anything, but watching Fairley the few times I watched Auburn (especially the National Championship Game), the guy was DOMINANT. It was like watching Warren Sapp’s days at ‘The U’.

    While it’s possible he could end up being a bust, he certainly looked like the best D-Lineman I’ve seen in a while.

  11. whitemike55 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:31 PM

    He won’t be a bust…..

    Signed Amobi Okoye… 10th overall pick in 2007 NFL Draft with the Houston Texans.

  12. denverhighrize says: Mar 23, 2011 12:37 PM

    This guy gets paid to say stuff like that? Well, I guess that means he has a 50% chance not to be a bust. Excellent reporting McShay…very informative.

  13. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Mar 23, 2011 12:42 PM

    Well that’s nice that he takes both sides. So however the player turns out he’ll just point to the comment that supports the result. It’s called “hedging”.

  14. ditkasmustache says: Mar 23, 2011 12:44 PM

    There is no such thing as a sure thing in any draft.

    Therefore, ANY player drafted has a “chance to be a bust” as McShay says. Logically it follows that ANY player also has a “chance to be a star”.

    Folks like McShay and his fellow draftniks are just snake oil salesman with no more feel for the ultimate success of a player than you or me. And if you believe some insiders they also act as shills promoting players aligned with certain agents. They fill a void between the Super Bowl and training camp for media outlets that need to fill air time.

  15. thefiesty1 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:45 PM

    Panthers don’t have a clue. They are going to blow the first pick, count on it.

  16. thompgk says: Mar 23, 2011 12:46 PM

    “I’ve never been sold on this guy. Watching him play in a number of games always had me scratching my head and thinking why so many were so high on him. Most games he’d disappear for long stretches. Then he’d make a decent play. Big deal. You can pick out a great many other guys that could give you that much.”

    Is this a joke? The guy was all over the field all year this year. There isn’t a single player in the draft ever who dominated in every single play they were in.

    He came up huge in every big game that he played this year and was unblockable.

    You might have been watching an Alabama game or something and had him confused with a guy who really didn’t show up this year, yet still remains a top 3 pick on draft boards.

  17. descendency says: Mar 23, 2011 12:48 PM

    @mvp43

    I love that comparison.

  18. phillyb6 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:56 PM

    stubbyjones, Mayock said the same thing about Russell. Can’t single out McShay on that one.

  19. phillyb6 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:57 PM

    phintasm, you mean best D-lineman since last year?

  20. chapnastier says: Mar 23, 2011 1:12 PM

    Mcshay is an idiot. I stopped watching ESPN because of him and Kiper. There is obviously no way to be 100% correct on any pick but Mayock is the most reliable.

  21. oldbyrd says: Mar 23, 2011 1:17 PM

    Get ready for more disapointing McShay comments. He has just been hired to scout the National Womens Table Tennis players….Dufus

  22. wawa33 says: Mar 23, 2011 1:17 PM

    Todd McShay is a bust and a boob!

  23. TheBigShowOnTheLakeFront says: Mar 23, 2011 1:18 PM

    Mike Junkin, Clifford Charlton, Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, Willie Green, Jeff Faine, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, Brady Quinn. Please don’t add Nick Fairley to the list, Mr Heckert! Or Bowers or Quinn.

  24. ttommytom says: Mar 23, 2011 1:33 PM

    Director of College Scouting? How many picks does ESPN have in the upcoming draft? Who is he directing?

  25. jordan52187 says: Mar 23, 2011 1:41 PM

    @medtxpack

    this is not always true, jake long turned out to be an all-pro lt for miami and was a beast in college that only gave up one sack. that one sack was by vernon gholston…

  26. joshsmith199065 says: Mar 23, 2011 1:57 PM

    Where will we see an article on Blaine Gabbert stating “he has a chance to be a bust” lol? Or is he in love with the guy along with Kiper, Mike L, Mike Mayock etc etc.

  27. phintasm says: Mar 23, 2011 2:02 PM

    phillyb6,

    If you’re referring to Suh, didn’t see very many Nebraska games, but in those that I did see, I thought Suh was a little suspect against the run.

    Fairley’s ability to blow up the interior O-Line is incredibly impressive.

  28. lucky5927 says: Mar 23, 2011 2:12 PM

    McShay is saying something about Fairley that will be true about just about everyone in the top 10, except for Peterson. Their are very few sure things in this year’s draft. Using history to justify a top player’s ability to transcend to the next level is stupid. For him to be blown away at his work out day, but change his mind on the very same game film that raised Fairley to a national level player and All American, raises my concern that McShay is going to be a bust. Oh wait, he already is.

  29. paintan8 says: Mar 23, 2011 2:34 PM

    Morons like McShay and Kiper rave about how great a guy looks in a pair of shorts and t-shirt during a staged Pro Day. They sound like idiots every time they get suckered by one of these dog and pony shows.

  30. johnnyb216 says: Mar 23, 2011 2:47 PM

    That’s funny because that’s what all the real NFL scouts say about mcshay.

  31. bigtrav425 says: Mar 23, 2011 2:51 PM

    Ya dont say McShay??…but doesn’t everyone have that chance?…Tard

  32. goombar2 says: Mar 23, 2011 3:08 PM

    The thing with busts is that you can lump them into two catagories (though some really hate doing this).

    Your first group are the “mental” guys who bust. J. Russell is a prime example, so would Ryan Leaf. These guys are too immature to handle what’s going to be thrown at them. They don’t put the extra work in that needs to be done. All the tools you can fit in the shed, but their stupidity becomes their down fall. These guys are the worst busts.

    The second group are “injury” guys who bust. Try as teams might you can never tell who these guys are gonna be. Steve Emtman comes to mind whenever I think of these guys. Coulda, shoulda, but never happened. That guy was a beast.

    As for Fairley, a lot is coming out about his head and he seems like a Haynesworth-type. Might have a few stellar years, but in the end his head will be his downfall.

  33. realfann says: Mar 23, 2011 5:22 PM

    “If Fairley isn’t even the best player at his position, it would be illogical for the Panthers to take him first”

    No shyte Sherlock.

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