Nick Fairley

Nick Fairley

refer to caption

Fairley with the Detroit Lions in 2012
No. 90New Orleans Saints
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-01-23) January 23, 1988
Place of birth: Mobile, Alabama
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 308 lb (140 kg)
Career information
High school: Mobile (AL) Williamson
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 9, 2016
Tackles: 148
Quarterback sacks: 17.5
Forced fumbles: 4
Fumble recoveries: 4
Touchdowns: 1
Player stats at

Nicholas Lachester Fairley (born January 23, 1988) is an American football defensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Auburn University, where he was recognized as an All-American and was a member of a BCS National Championship team. Fairley was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He has also played for the St. Louis Rams.

Early years

Fairley was born in Mobile, Alabama. He attended Williamson High School in Mobile, where he was a two-way lineman and also lettered in basketball. Regarded as a three-star prospect,[1] he was projected as an offensive guard. He committed to Auburn, but could not qualify academically.[2]

College career

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Fairley attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College from 2007 to 2008. After being redshirted in 2007, he played in seven games in 2008. He recorded 63 tackles and seven sacks.[2]

Auburn University

Fairley transferred to Auburn University, where he played for the Auburn Tigers football team in 2009 and 2010. He finished the 2009 season with two starts in 13 games and recorded 28 tackles. Surprisingly quick for his size, his tendency to be flamboyant following a successful play placed him as a person of concern for officials. In 2010, he became the 2nd player from Auburn to win the Lombardi Award. He was coached by Lombardi winner and former Auburn player Tracy Rocker, and became the first player to win the Lombardi and be coached by a winner of the award.

During the 2011 BCS National Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks, Fairley had five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Three of his tackles were made behind the line of scrimmage. Fairley was selected as the defensive player of the game award.

Professional career

2011 NFL Draft

Only four days after the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, Fairley decided to forgo his final year of eligibility, entering the 2011 NFL Draft.[3] He was initially projected to be the first pick in the draft.[4] His measurements at the combine showed him to be 6 feet 3 7/8 inches tall and 291 pounds, somewhat less than his listing of 6-5 and 300 pounds at Auburn.[5] After the combine, he was projected in the 8-12 range.[6][7] Fairley was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round as the 13th pick overall.[8]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 3⅞ in 291 lb34¾ in in 4.84 s 1.72 s 2.76 s 4.56 s 7.14 s 31 in 9 ft 5 in
All values from NFL Combine[9]

Detroit Lions

Fairley signed a 4-year contract with the Detroit Lions on July 28, 2011. The contract was 4-years worth $10 million with a $5.7 million signing bonus.

In Detroit he joined All-Pro Ndamukong Suh on the interior of the Detroit defensive line. Though at times his play was stout,[10] he was troubled by inconsistency.[11]

In his second season in the NFL Fairley recorded 5.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 26 tackles. However, on December 12, 2012, Fairley was put on the injured reserve list, ending his season.[12]

Fairley's fourth season had been productive for the most part. However, on October 26, 2014, Fairley sustained a Medial collateral ligament sprain against the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium in London.[13]

St. Louis Rams

On March 13, 2015, Fairley signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the St. Louis Rams.[14][15] Fairley played in 15 games for the St. Louis Rams in 2015 along their defensive line rotation and recorded a career-high 63 tackles (31 solo), a split sack, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery.[16] On December 31, 2015, Fairley was placed on injured reserve.[17]

New Orleans Saints

On March 28, 2016, Fairley signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the New Orleans Saints.[16][18]

NFL stats

2011 DET 10 15 9 6 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 DET 13 34 27 7 5.5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2013 DET 15 35 22 13 6.0 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 1
2014 DET 8 14 8 6 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 STL 15 29 18 11 0.5 0 1 -5 0 0 0 0 0 1
Career 61 127 84 43 14 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3



Personal life

Since entering the NFL, Fairley has had a number of run-ins with the law. On April 3, 2012, Fairley was arrested in Mobile, Alabama for marijuana possession.[20] The charges were dismissed in December 2012.[21]

On May 27, 2012, Fairley was arrested by Alabama State Troopers for driving under the influence and attempting to elude police. He was also ticketed for reckless driving, having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and no proof of insurance.[22]


  2. 1 2 Mandel, Stewart (January 7, 2011). "Slowing Newton won't be easy, but stopping Fairley equally daunting".
  3. "Auburn Tigers' Nick Fairley to enter NFL draft". ESPN. January 14, 2011.
  4. Banks, Don (January 27, 2011). "2011 NFL Mock Draft 1.0".
  5. McShay, Todd; Weidl, Kevin (February 26, 2011). "Nick Fairley smaller than expected at NFL combine". ESPN Insider.
  6. Lande, Russ (March 2011). "NFL mock draft: Mallett, Liuget and Sherrod moving up draft boards". Sporting News.
  7. Banks, Don (March 9, 2011). "2011 NFL Mock Draft 3.0".
  8. The Detroit Lions draft Nick Fairley of Auburn with the 13th-overall selection
  9. Dagger. "2011 NFL Combine Results". Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  10. "Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley providing stout presence in the middle of Detroit's defensive line". 2013-11-13.
  11. Smith, Michael (November 12, 2013). "Fairley makes big plays, but Schwartz wants to see it consistently".
  12. Rogers, Justin (December 19, 2012). "Detroit Lions place DT Nick Fairley on injured reserve, sign Ogemdi Nwagbuo". Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  13. Birkett, Dave (October 27, 2014). "Nick Fairley out 4-5 weeks with knee sprain, per report". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  14. Wesseling, Chris (March 13, 2015). "Nick Fairley leaves Detroit Lions for St. Louis Rams". Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  15. Alper, Josh (March 13, 2015). "Nick Fairley signs with Rams". Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  16. 1 2 "Saints sign DT Nick Fairley to one-year contract". Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  17. "Rams place Nick Fairley, Doug Worthington on injured reserve". Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  18. "New Orleans Saints reach deal with DT Nick Fairley". Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  19. "Nick Fairley Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  20. "Detroit Lions' Nick Fairley arrested on drug charges". CBS News.
  21. Seifert, Kevin (December 4, 2012). "Nick Fairley has drug charge dropped". ESPN. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  22. "Report: Nick Fairley arrested again". May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
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