6 Reasons Why Nick Fairley Will Overcome Controversial Offseason

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6 Reasons Why Nick Fairley Will Overcome Controversial Offseason
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nick Fairley's career NFL statistics don't paint a pretty picture right now, especially if you go outside the white lines.

Zero games started, 10 games played, 15 total tackles, one sack, two offseason arrests. But hey, at least he wasn't called for any personal fouls (if only for a lack of snaps).

It has been a rough first year for Fairley. After being a relatively controversial first-round pick (how dare they spend first-round picks in two straight years on a defensive tackle when the secondary is bad?), he injured his foot in training camp, played sparingly in his first NFL season, and is now waiting on legal and NFL repercussions for repeated offseason arrests.

At this point, Fairley is very much like 2010 Matthew Stafford. The hope Lions fans have for him is based primarily on his high draft status and a flash-in-the-pan performance during his rookie season.

For Stafford, that was a miraculous 21-point comeback that ended with a separated left shoulder and a touchdown pass with no time left on the clock (in that order) against the Cleveland Browns.

For Fairley, that was a dominant single quarter against the New Orleans Saints, in which he tossed around some of the best interior linemen in football on the way to a sack and tackle for loss. Defensive tackles don't often take over ball games, and for one quarter, Fairley did.

The difference is, Stafford didn't get into all kinds of trouble between his rookie and sophomore season. Stafford just needed to get healthy. Fairley needs to get healthy and stay out of jail.

But despite Fairley's ability to get in repeated trouble in a short amount of time, I must stress the short amount of time. Fairley is just entering his first year in the league, he's 24 years old, and he theoretically has at least another 10 years to perform on the field and keep his nose clean off it.

Of course, that has to start this season, and here are six good reasons why he can and should.

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