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2011 NFL Draft: Should the Titans Pass on Nick Fairley for a Wide Receiver?

James BrownSenior Analyst IApril 14, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Should the Titans Pass on Nick Fairley for a Wide Receiver?

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Tennessee Titans have the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft and are expected to get a great player. Many of the mock drafts have the Titans selecting Nick Fairley, the defensive tackle out of Auburn.

    After recent events surrounding the team, the Titans may have to reconsider the pick and look at a different position.

Nick Fairley

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    This pick seems like a slam dunk for the Titans.

    Fairley is a top-10 talent and he fits a need for the Titans. The Titans recently hired Tracy Rocker, as a defensive coach, and he coached Fairley at Auburn.

    Fairley is not perfect and has some character issues stemming from choices he made as a youngster. His draft stock is based off of one good year at Auburn, but he has enough talent to warrant this pick. Overall the Titans had every reason to believe that Fairley would be a Titan on draft day.

    Then an unfortunate incident changed all of that.

Kenny Britt

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt was arrested in New Jersey after a car chase with the police.

    After Britt pulled his vehicle over, he denied the car was his, and now is facing a bevy of charges.

    This will lead to negative publicity for the team, as well as the possible loss of Britt's services to the Titans' offense.

    This is not the first time that Britt has had a run-in with the law and suddenly the Titans could be rethinking their draft strategy. 

Character Issues

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    Joe Murphy/Getty Images

    Almost every player in the NFL draft could be accused of having “character issues,” yet it is something that should be investigated. Fairley’s character issues are not damning enough to hurt his draft stock, but after the incident with Britt, Tennessee may also consider changing their pick in hopes of cleaning up their image and avoiding future problems off the field.

    If the Titans choose to pass on Fairley and try to acquire a wide receiver, the obvious choices would be Georgia’s A.J. Green and Alabama’s Julio Jones.

A.J. Green

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    A.J. Green is a top player in the NFL draft and top-notch prospect in the draft. He would be a great fit on any team, including the Tennessee Titans.

    There is just one glaring problem; Green will most like be off the board by the time the Titans draft. The recent mock drafts circulating the Internet have Green going No. 3 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. While that could change, it could be a stretch to think that he will be available when the Titans draft.

Julio Jones

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With Green out of the picture, the next likely target could be Julio Jones out of Alabama.

    Jones has impressed in his workouts and many draft experts have Jones above Green on the big board. The Washington Redskins currently have Jones targeted, but the Titans draft before Washington and could get him if they want to.

The Best Move?

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Despite the recent off-field issues, the Titans should draft Nick Fairley in the first round.

    The Titans are not guaranteed that Fairley won’t be picked before they get a shot at him, but if he is around, they need to take him. Fairley will make an immediate impact on the defense and start paying off on the first day of the season.

    On offense, the Titans are still built around running back Chris Johnson. The Titans need to answer their quarterback concerns before they consider picking up another wide receiver.

    If the Titans pass on Fairley, they would be committing a major mistake they could regret for a long time.

    Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at mregaw@gmail.com.

    More 2011 NFL Draft Articles

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    NFL Draft Fact or Fiction

    Defense Rule the First Round

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