The mock draft world has come down pretty hard on Nick Fairley since the NFL Combine, where he didn’t look like he put in the requisite work to belong on the same field as Marcell Dareus. Where he was once in the discussion for the No. 1 overall pick that would be going to the Panthers, he’s now consistently around for the Titans at No. 8. In this week’s SB Nation mock, Fairley falls all the way to the Texans at No. 11. Here’s Brian Galliford’s reasoning:
11. Houston Texans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn. Wade Phillips’ 3-4 under defense is predicated on having elite talent at pretty much every position in the front seven. Fairley’s athleticism gives him the range to play end for Phillips, and eliminates some of the worry about him wearing down during games.
I would say it’s fairly unlikely this pick will get made. The Texans keep talking as if they’re set at defensive tackle with Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody, and every scrap of available evidence says that they will go with a 3-4 rush linebacker or a defensive back. Or a trade down.
But there are much worse ways for a mock to go than this. Fairley is clearly one of the top nine players in the draft in my eyes, and if three quarterbacks go in the first ten selections? The Texans will be sitting pretty in that scenario.