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.