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2011 NFL Draft - Detroit Lions
Auburn DT Nick Fairley
Auburn DT Nick Fairley
Posted Apr 30, 2011

Detroit Lions - NFC North, 2011 Draft Selections & Prospects

Detroit Lions

2011 NFL Draft Analysis
1st Round (1-5) | 1st Round (6-10) | 1st Round (11-15) | 1st Round (16-20)
1st Round (21-25) | 1st Round (26-32) | 2nd Round | 3rd Round
4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round | Top Free Agents

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay 

- 2010 Detroit Draft Breakdown

First Round
DT Nick Fairley, Auburn 6-4, 291 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 13 CFN Overall Ranking: 7

The word you’re looking for is Yoink! If Minnesota isn’t going to take the best interior pass rushing lineman in the draft, Detroit will bring him to the NFC North, put him next to Ndamukong Suh, and it should be uh-oh time for Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, and now Christian Ponder. He might have turned everyone off in interviews and he might be a one-year wonder, but he doesn’t have to be the No. 1 guy next to Suh and can be turned loose. Yeah, Prince Amukamara would’ve been nice, but Fairley is a top three talent who slid.

CFN Analysis: If he wants it – REALLY wants it – he’ll be a dominant NFL pass rusher. There’s a concern that he went from being a promising part of the Auburn defensive interior rotation to an all-timer of a star way too quickly, but his 2010 was too breathtaking to ignore. If you can destroy the SEC, you can destroy anyone, and he was unblockable at times proving to be almost as important to the national title defense as Cam Newton was to the offense. He beats up runners, flies into the backfield, and explodes out of his stance. An ideal 3-technique tackle, and with the quickness to be moved to a true defensive end if needed, the expectations are going to be sky high from Day One. Fine, so he might be a cheap shot artist, he’s not exactly known for his impeccable character, and his rise was so meteoric that the temptation will be there to think he might flame out in a hurry, but tackles with his ability to get into the backfield are rare. There’s bust potential, but he might just be worth the risk.
CFN Projection: First Round

Second Round    
WR Titus Young, Boise State 5-11,
Overall Pick No. 44 CFN Overall Ranking: 98

There’s something fun about the Detroit draft. After taking Nick Fairley to go next Ndamukong Suh, Young is a flashy, exciting all-around playmaker who can thrive on the other side of Calvin Johnson. As long as Matthew Stafford stays healthy, he’ll have a slew of weapons to play around with. With Young and Jahivid Best, the Lion attack has a few lightning quick home run hitters.

CFN Analysis: A very fast, very productive prospect who should be an occasional gamebreaker, he makes big plays, can be used as a kick returner, and will be the type of player a coach invents ways to get the ball to. He’s not exactly built to be a major factor on a regular basis – he’s going to get beaten up by anyone who puts a hand on him - and he’s not going to be facing San Jose State anymore. He’ll be used in a variety of ways and will be asked to come up with at least one big play a game.
CFN Projection:
Second Round

Second Round 
RB Mikel Leshoure, Illinois
6-0, 227
Overall Pick No. 57 CFN Overall Ranking: 30

Basically, the Lions are saying that they don’t think that Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith can’t stay healthy, and Smith might end up being gone. Leshoure is a very good back with good size and excellent speed, but he doesn’t bring enough thump. The second best back in the draft behind Mark Ingram, he might be worth the move by Detroit to jump up to take him. The running game needed a No. 1 back, and he’s it.

CFN Analysis: He’s not going to be Rashard Mendenhall, but he has the toughness and ability to handle the rock 25 times per game. With just enough speed to get by, he can be a home run hitter and he’s extremely quick and decisive when he gets a little room to move. A great athlete who’s cut, strong, and looks like a prototype NFL back, all the parts are there to succeed. Does he need to be in the right system, like Mendenhall? No, but he’d be a 2010 Arian Foster-like superstar in a zone-blocking scheme and would be terrific in a power running system. While he can be anyone’s No. 1 back, he’ll be terrific as a 15-carry No. 2 hammer.
CFN Projection: Second Round  

Fifth Round    
OLB Doug Hogue, Syracuse 6-2, 235
Overall Pick No. 157 CFN Overall Ranking: 166

CFN Analysis: The former running back moves extremely well and cuts like a good all-around athlete. He zips all over the place and he can fly into the backfield when needed, but he’s still trying to become a real, live linebacker. He needs to hit the weight room harder and he doesn’t have a defender’s instincts, but he was fantastic in post-season workouts and has the character and the makeup to work to get better. Very coachable, he’ll do whatever it takes to contribute early on, and he’s just scratching the surface and could pay off big-time in a few years.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round  

Seventh Round   
OT Johnny Culbreath, South Carolina State  6-5, 278
Overall Pick No. 209  CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked

CFN Analysis: A smallish developmental prospect who doesn't have the size to be a regular starter, but moves well and has the potential to be a nice wall-off blocker in a zone-blocking scheme. He'll never flatten anyone, but he's a good enough athlete to be tried out against the faster pass rushers to see what he can do.
CFN Projection: Free Agent