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2011 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock on Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley

NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock is chatting right now over at 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.