A month ago, with the scouting combine complete, there appeared to be little possibility several players would fall to the Lions at the 13th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was one of those players. So was Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. And North Carolina defensive end/linebacker Robert Quinn.
Given the choice of all three on draft night Wednesday, the Lions took Fairley.
The question isn’t whether they got proper value for the pick based on Fairley’s ability. It was anything but a reach to take him 13th overall. But was it the right pick?
It was a surprise he dropped down the board that far. There were times last season, on a national championship team, Fairley played as if he would be the first overall selection in this draft.
He was to Auburn’s defense what quarterback Cam Newton – who was chosen first overall by the Carolina Panthers Wednesday – was to its offense. He was the heart and soul.
But Amukamara and Quinn are of similar ability. Quinn was taken the pick immediately after Fairley. Amakumara, who also fit an obvious position of need for the Lions, was selected 19th overall by the New York Giants.
Should the Lions have considered their holes when picking Fairley?