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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Sticks With Nick Fairley

We've been tracking the SB Nation mock drafts from the beginning, and just like his mock from Monday morning, Brian Galliford has the Minnesota Vikings selecting Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley at number 12. Quite a precipitous fall for a guy that, as soon as the off-season festivities started, was widely regarded as the top overall selection.

Galliford's logic is simple:

It's tough to envision Fairley lasting past Minnesota, who would pair him with Kevin Williams to form one of the league's most feared interior pass-rushing tandems.

He's right. . .if Fairley were to actually reach number 12, I don't think the Vikings would pass on him. In that scenario, I don't think the Vikings should pass on him. It brings back memories of 1995. . .the Vikings had an opportunity to take an amazingly talented defensive tackle with a bit of controversy behind him at number 11, but passed on him for a less-talented defensive end. The team behind the Vikings took that amazingly talented defensive tackle at number 12, and he will soon be going into the Hall of Fame.

That player was Warren Sapp. The Vikings could have had him, and they passed. It looks like the mothership thinks that if the same scenario plays out 16 years later, Minnesota won't make that same mistake again.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.