NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock is chatting right now over at NFL.com. Someone asked him an interesting question about the differences between Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley. I thought Mayock's answer was an interesting one:
Q: To me its pretty obvious that Fairley was the most dominant defensive college football player last season, however Dareus has had the better offseason with his combine & pro day. Isn't actual game tape of a player dominating his opponent more impressive than a player competing with stop watches and measuring tapes? Of the two who would be a better choice for my beloved Broncos, and why!? Thanks!!
A: Hey Jake, I disagree with your assumption that Fairley had the better tape and Dareus had the better offseason. Fairley is a one-year wonder with some very average 2009 tape. Dareus had a dominant 2009 and played through injury to have a good 2010. They both have had impressive combines and pro days. I think Fairley has the higher has the higher ceiling but Dareus has the higher floor. If I'm Denver, I'm going to plug Dareus into your front and know that I have a dominant player for years.
At the beginning of draft season it seemed like the Titans wouldn't have a shot at Fairley, and there was only an outside chance they would have a shot at Dareus. Now it seems like Dareus will be long gone and Fairley might be there.
I have watched both of these guys play a lot of games, and I think Mayock is pretty dead on that Dareus has the higher floor, but I don't agree that Fairley has the higher ceiling.