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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will Steelers Pick Offensive Lineman Or Defensive End?

Here's a look at a couple of the latest 2011 NFL mock drafts. Rob Rang at CBSSports.com suggests that the Steelers will pick Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod, which certainly isn't a stretch - Sherrod is among the top-ranked offensive linemen in this year's draft. This is one of the more offensive line-heavy mocks I've seen so far, with three offensive linemen (USC's Tyron Smith, Boston College's Anthony Castonzo, and Colorado's Nate Solder) going before Sherrod. Rang also has Andrew Luck at No. 1, while the Bengals will pick Georgia wideout A.J. Green with the fourth pick and the Browns will take LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson at No. 6.

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Another recent CBSSports.com mock, by Chad Reuter, is even more offensive line-heavy, with Sherrod (at No. 9!) Castonzo, Solder, Smith, Arkansas' DeMarcus Love, and Penn State's own Stefen Wisniewski going before the Steelers pick. That would leave Florida's Mike Pouncey for the Steelers, but I'm seeing Pouncey in very few first-round mocks right now (and almost always connected to the Steelers, when he does come up), so I wonder whether he'll be in the first round at all. I'm not sure he would be around when the Steelers' turn comes up in the second round, though, so it's probably a question of whether the Steelers will feel he represents good value for when they will pick.

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Reuter thus has the Steelers picking Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt. That probably wouldn't be as popular a pick as an offensive lineman would, given the Steelers' well-publicized problems on the line, but it would certainly make some sense too - Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel are both getting old and injury-prone, and the Steelers could use a young defensive end to complement Ziggy Hood. Watt is also a good value given where the Steelers will probably be picking.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.