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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Fox Sports Likes The Steelers To Go Tight End

The Pittsburgh Steelers have quite a few needs they could address in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Nose tackle Casey Hampton is having ACL surgery, so it's possible the Steelers could look for another defensive lineman. There is always the concern over the Steelers offensive line as well. Pete Schrager of FOX Sports has the Steelers going in a bit of a different direction, however.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford: If the success of Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Aaron Hernandez, and Vernon Davis showed us anything this season, it's that a dynamic tight end can make a good offense into a great one. Heath Miller's had a great run in Pittsburgh, but Fleener would be a tremendous addition to the already potent Steelers offense. Andrew Luck's top target at Stanford, Fleener is a 6-6, 240 pound athletic big man who could make an immediate impact on the next level. Other pundits have different tight ends as their top prospects at the position. I love Fleener's NFL potential and think he's the first one off the board come April.

The addition of Fleener could make sense for the Steelers if they plan on going to more of a run-oriented offense with the departure of Bruce Arians. As Schrager mentions, quite a few teams have gone to a double tight end set and have had much success with it. Pairing Fleener with Heath Miller could make the Steelers offense a little more dynamic while also focusing on rushing the football. Of course, while the Steelers don't draft purely for need, they have many more pressing ones than tight end, and it isn't as if Fleener is a consensus first-rounder.

For more on this and all things Steelers football, head over to Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the upcoming NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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