Fairley makes Lions' defense better immediately
ALLEN PARK — Everyone seemed to think the Lions would draft a cornerback with the 13th overall pick in the draft Thursday night. Particularly, Prince Amukamara if he was still available.
Well, he was. But so was defensive tackle Nick Fairley from Auburn.
The Lions were thankful four quarterbacks went in the first 12 picks, otherwise Fairley would not have been available. The Vikings drafted quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th pick, just before the Lions. They thought the Vikings might nab Fairley.
“We were hopeful he would fall to us. ... He was very high on our draft board. I think he’ll help our defensive line, our defense as a whole,’’ Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said.
So instead of reaching, and getting a player at a needed spot, the Lions drafted to their strength. They’ll rotate Fairley, who will wear No. 98, in and out with Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams.
We should have seen this coming. The week before the draft Mayhew said the Lions would draft the best player on their board who was available. The only position he ruled out was quarterback.
The man was true to his word. It might cost Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers a restless night or two throughout the season.
This has got to be one of the deepest, strongest defensive lines in the league. All of a sudden the Lions’ secondary just got much better. Funny how that works.
(Follow me on Twitter @PaulaPasche.)