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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Bizarre New Mock Has Steelers Taking Wideout In First Round

The Sporting News' latest 2012 NFL mock draft is a little different from most mocks I've seen recently, even in the top five. After Andrew Luck and Matt Kalil, the Sporting News goes with Stanford's Jonathan Martin and Alabama corner Dre Kirkpatrick at Nos. 3 and 4, followed by Robert Griffin III, Riley Reiff ... and then Penn State's Devon Still, all the way up at No. 7. That drops LSU's Morris Claiborne, often a top-fiver, all the way down to the Seahawks at No. 14.

Of course, the Sporting News' pick for the Steelers demonstrates that this is all just madness, not iconoclastic genius of some kind.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina. The Steelers have downfield threats in Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, but they need to find a big receiver because Hines Ward is nearing the end of his career. Jones (6-4, 225) could fill that role in time.

Um, what? There's practically no chance the Steelers, who might have more depth at wide receiver than at any other position, will take a receiver in the first round. And what does the departure of Hines Ward - by no means a big receiver himself - have to do with acquiring a big receiver? The Steelers are aging at several positions and have serious needs at inside linebacker and on the offensive line. While they tend not to draft purely for need in the first round, I can't see them taking a wideout in the first round, and probably not in the second round, either.

The Sporting News has West Virginia's Bruce Irvin going to the Patriots at No. 31.

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