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Bengals Schedule Visit With Auburn Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley

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According to our prospect chart, the Bengals are verified to have scheduled a workout (and visit) with one defensive lineman -- Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers. It doesn't mean that he's the only one; we do not put names on that list unless they are verified by other sources (which we link to) and not simply idle speculation because of the prospects ranking and the team's drafting position (or else we'd have Von Miller on our list and there's no report that the team is even interested in the outside linebacker).

Now make that two.

The Houston Chronicles' NFL beat writer John McClain writes that Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley will visit eight of the top-ten teams drafting in the first round (Cowboys and Cardinals are the only teams not scheduled to visit with Fairley). The Bengals hold the fourth overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.

In recent weeks, Fairley's draft stock seems to have declined. McClain writes:

After Auburn beat Oregon in the championship game in which Fairley had 1½ sacks and 3½ tackles for loss and was voted defensive MVP, most draft experts had him going No. 1 overall. Even though Fairley did well at the combine and at his pro day, I've seen and heard some draft experts say he's falling in the first round.

I called three scouts and personnel guys on Thursday night to see if anything new had come up involving Fairley, and they said no.

ESPN's DraftTracker ranks Fairley as the second-best defensive tackle prospect behind Alabama's Marcell Dareus. Even though he's listed on Scout Inc's big board as the eighth-best prospect, Fairley was graded with exceptional against the run, pass rush with exceptional quickness. His motor and toughness graded out as average while his intangibles brought up character questions.

Reportedly questions about work ethic and character needs to be examined further. 2007: Did not qualify academically and enrolled in a junior college.

The Bengals have five defensive tackles signed for 2011. Pat Sims is entering the final year under contract, scheduled to earn $555,000 in 2011. Tank Johnson will enter the second year of a four-year extension, with $2.25 million due in base salary and Domata Peko will make $2.9 million with four years remaining on his existing contract. Clinton McDonald, mostly a roll player, is entering the final year of his current deal.