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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Has Pittsburgh Selecting Dontari Poe

The deluge of 2012 NFL Mock Drafts continue, with ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper releasing his Mock Draft 1.0. Most of Kiper's work is behind a paywall, but his selection for the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 24 is captured below. Kiper, unlike many experts, does not have Pittsburgh taking an offensive lineman. Rather, he see the Steelers helping themselves on the defensive side of the ball:

Pittsburgh Steelers: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Dick LeBeau can do a lot of things, but he can't scheme around age. The Steelers were very good on defense this season, but they simply have to get younger, particularly up front, if they want to maintain it. Poe has risen a lot for me in terms of value, but he's also a rarity, that zero-technique centerpiece to a 3-4 defense, the guy who simply eats up tacklers and is a human wall in the run game. If he develops, Poe can be the heir to Casey Hampton in the middle of that scheme, a human boulder who will free up those linebackers.

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. And for more on the upcoming NFL draft, be sure to check out Mocking The Draft, SB Nation's NFL draft site.

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