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With only five total picks in the 2011 NFL Draft, there weren't many to choose from when deciding on the best and worst selections this year. Personally I don't think any are that bad, but for the purpose of this post it was necessary to choose one bad and one good. Let's start with the good.
Best Pick: Round 1, Pick No. 13 - Nick Fairley
Shortly after the BCS national championship, I remember hearing some Auburn fans say that Fairley could be even better than Ndamukong Suh was during his rookie season. Obviously I took issue with that as a Lions fan, but I did have to admit that Fairley was very talented and was being considered a possible top-five pick.
As time went on, Fairley's stock started slipping just a bit, but most still had him being a top-10 selection on draft day. What ended up happening during the first round was a run on quarterbacks in the first 12 picks, allowing Fairley to slip to the Lions. They quickly pulled the trigger on drafting him and added even more talent to an already great defensive line. The value they got with taking Fairley at No. 13 is just ridiculous, and for that alone this was the best pick the Lions made in my mind. I don't think he can match Suh's level (few can), but he won't have to with all of the talent around him.
Worst Pick: Round 5, No. 157 - Doug Hogue
Let me make something perfectly clear, I do not think taking Hogue was a bad pick. In fact, I like his upside and the progress he's made at linebacker despite just switching to the position a couple years ago. The only reason he is being listed as the worst pick is because I had to choose someone. There were limited choices this year, and I went with the most unproven of the Lions' five picks. Fairley, Titus Young and Mikel Leshoure were all great in college, and although Johnny Culbreath played at an FCS school, he was a four-year starter and two-time All-American. Hogue just started playing his position a couple years ago, so out of the five picks, he is the most unproven. Again, I don't think it's a bad pick, but out of the five I'd rank it fifth.
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