2011 NFL Draft: Comparing Overall Big Boards

We've wrapped up our Big Board, putting together a list of 75 draft-eligible players as we prepare for the Thursday start of the 2011 NFL Draft. Most everybody on the Internet has some kind of big board, and our results compared to some of them raises interesting questions. I specifically wanted to compare our board to that of 49ers writer Matt Maiocco and the Mocking the Draft Top 200 big board. I've posted the top seven on each board given the 49ers position in the NFL Draft.

Rk NN MM MtD
1 Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson A.J. Green
2 Von Miller Marcell Dareus Patrick Peterson
3 Marcell Dareus Von Miller Marcell Dareus
4 Prince Amukamara Prince Amukamara Julio Jones
5 Robert Quinn Blaine Gabbert Prince Amukamara
6 A.J. Green Robert Quinn Da'Quan Bowers
7 Nick Fairley A.J. Green Nick Fairley

One guy we have not really discussed too much here is Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley. There were times early this offseason when Fairley was considered the top overall player on some draft boards. At this point there are a couple of concerns that have me wondering where he's at on the 49ers draft board. First is the general one-year wonder issue. He didn't work his way into the starting lineup until this past season in what some might qualify as a draft push. His performance shows ability, but it seems reasonable to question his overall drive.

The other issue to me is whether he's actually even a fit for the 49ers. At 6-2, 291 lbs, he wouldn't seem to work as a nose tackle, which means you'd be switching him outside. I suppose he could move outside but I can't say with any degree of certainty whether that would work out for him. What do folks think about Fairley, whether it be as a potential seventh overall pick or just in general? I suppose if the 49ers moved back in the first and he slipped far enough, is he worth grabbing as a potential defensive end opposite Justin Smith?

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