Replacing Ricky Jean-Francois: Possible Candidates for Colts
Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) warms up prior to a NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Gamble on Fairley:
The Detroit Lions will be hard-pressed to sign Suh long-term, let alone his defensive tackle counterpart in Nick Fairley. As the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Fairley has at times flashed dominance in the middle of the Detroit Lions defensive line. Never lacking in natural talent and ability, Fairley has battled his fair share of off-the-field, weight, and inconsistent motor concerns. However, when he’s truly right and has it going, he can be one of the best defensive lineman in the game.
Still 27 years old, and at 6’4″, 308 pounds, Fairley seems like he could theoretically make a successful conversion to a 3-4 defensive end. Per ProFootballFocus, his +5.7 grade overall against the run was the 13th best among all defensive tackles, and the Colts could sorely use help in that area along their defensive line.