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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Another Mock Has Steelers Taking Vontaze Burfict

In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Steelers could look for an offensive guard, linebacker or nose tackle with the No. 24 pick in the draft. Or they might do something else entirely, given their penchants for drafting talent before need in the first round and for valuing players differently than other teams do. So far, though, most mock drafts have sensibly focused on offensive line, linebacker and nose tackle as the Steelers' possible areas of interest (although many mock drafters have guessed the Steelers will pick a tackle, which seems unlikely despite the amount of talent available in the draft at that position -- the Steelers already have a pair of decent tackles in Marcus Gilbert and Willie Colon, but they have very little talent at guard).

Anyway, a new mock draft at Walter Football by Charlie Campbell predicts the Steelers will take a linebacker, Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict.

Burfict (6-3, 250) has ideal size with excellent speed. Before 2011, he ran around the field like a heat-seeking missle who was constantly looking to knock out an opposing player ...

NFL sources who know Burfict well from coaching him have told us that he is not a bad kid, just ultracompetitive, and as a result can be overly aggressive during games. Burfict should be told to go all out, and the team that drafts him should just accept having some penalties in exchange for an intimidating playmaker in the middle of its defense.

That sounds like the kind of player who would get a lot of love from the organization that developed James Harrison.

This draft has Penn State's Devon Still falling all the way down to the Patriots at No. 30. The Steelers take Virginia Tech running back David Wilson in the second round; a couple weeks ago, I would have thought that pick was strange, and I'd still be pretty surprised if the Steelers got through the second round without addressing their offensive line somehow, but depending on what the Steelers might know about Rashard Mendenhall's injury, I suppose anything's possible. They take West Virginia DE/OLB Bruce Irvin in the third round, which a lot of Mountaineers fans would get pretty excited about, but that seems pretty unlikely.

For more mock draft action, check out Mocking The Draft.

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