Things for Auburn football don’t look good. About an hour ago it was being reported that 12 Auburn football players failed a synthetic drug test that they were supposed to take before the 2010 National Championship, however, some players didn’t take it until after the game they won. As much as I could go on about that, I want to focus on former Auburn Tiger Nick Fairley who was taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
This past offseason Fairley was indeed caught with drugs. So we know he’s used before but what are the chances he was one of those 12 players who failed that drug test in 2010?
Hypothetically let’s say Fairley was one of those players and his involvement was revealed prior to the 2011 Draft. Here’s a direction the Lions’ could’ve went instead of Fairly who more than likely would’ve fallen hard.
- Robert Quinn was taken right after Nick Fairley by the St. Louis Rams. Quinn had some baggage coming into the league but it didn’t stop him from being a first round pick. In his first two seasons in the NFL Quinn has recorded 52 tackles, 15.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
- The next pick after Robert Quinn was center Mike Pouncey who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. It’s hard to say how good an offensive lineman is since they don’t get stats like other players but he’s played in all 32 games so far and in my opinion he’s one of the best centers in the game today.
- Ryan Kerrigan was taken with the 16th pick of the draft by the Washington Redskins. Many draft experts believe that he was best suited to be a 3-4 OLB kind of player but in my opinion he could play in any defense. So far in his two year career he’s been to a Pro Bowl and has recorded 117 tackles, 16 sacks, 2 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles and 2 touchdowns.
- I’d put Nate Solder on this list but I wasn’t a fan of him coming out of this draft because of the way he stood straight up on most plays and his experience at offensive tackle was limited. However, Corey Liuget who the San Diego Chargers took at the 18th overall pick would have been a fine selection if Nick Fairley was one of these 12 players. So far through his first two seasons he’s had 70 tackles, 8 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Also he’s been in every game of his NFL career.
- The player I truly wanted at this pick was cornerback Prince Amukamara because he played with Ndamukong Suh in college. In his first season he only played in seven games until he broke his left foot but he recovered and had a good sophomore season with the Giants. During his first two seasons he’s got 67 tackles, 2 interceptions and 10 pass deflections. He’d definitely be an upgrade to what the Lions have now and would fit just fine with Chris Houston.
- Last on the list is offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo who got drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the 22nd overall pick. Castonzo was who I wanted if Amukamara was gone. Castonzo is the starting LT for the Colts and hasn’t missed a game yet. He’d be useful right now since Jeff Backus retired and Gosder Cherilus is now in Indy. Also Castonzo probably would have changed the whole Riley Reiff pick from 2012 draft.
I’m not saying that Nick Fairley is guilty but I’m not saying he’s innocent. We’ll find out more down the road but it would be interesting to see what the Lions franchise looked like with these players instead of Nick Fairley who might have fallen out of the first round had this incident came out sooner.