Lions fans were overwhelmingly giddy when Nick Fairley became the team’s pick 13th overall last week. The defensive line may already be a strength but the addition of Fairley solidifies that standing for the foreseeable future. The value was too great to pass up.
Draft value may never be quantifiable but one of the surest signs that a falling player represents a good value is when teams start looking to move up. The Denver Post is reporting that the Broncos had interest in trading back into the first round once they saw Fairley slide, but knew they would need to get in front of the Lions to do it.
Here is an excerpt from Jeff Legwold’s report:
both executive vice president of football operations John Elway and coach John Fox said following the draft they certainly had interest in getting back into the first round because the run on quarterbacks was pushing other players down the board.
Fairley was one of those players.
But that plan posed two difficulties for the Broncos. First, the Broncos would have had to get in front of Detroit at No. 13.
The Lions had their eyes on Fairley as well — as soon as he moved out of the top five — because they believed they might have a chance at the Auburn star once quarterbacks started to come off the board. Despite not being a need position, having selected Ndamukong Suh in last year’s draft, the Lions saw Fairley as a best player available.
I see two main takeaways from this report when it comes to the value the Lions got in Nick Fairley:
1. Although Fairley was already considered a great value, the fact that the Broncos tried to trade back up to get him validates that belief
2. The fact that the Broncos knew they would need to get ahead of the Lions to get Fairley suggests the Lions never considered trading back once he fell to 13. In essence, they saw their pick of Fairley 13th represented a greater value than whatever package of picks they could have received in a trade.