SB Nation's latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft has Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe heading to the San Diego Chargers at No. 18.
Poe was a big winner at the Combine. At 346 pounds, he looked more explosive than players half his size, earning perfectly reasonable comparisons to Ravens' defensive lineman Haloti Ngata.
I believe this is the first time I've seen Poe go above the Steelers' pick at No. 24, but it won't be the last. Poe's brilliant combine performance likely took him out of the Steelers' range, which means they'll have to trade up (unlikely) or go for someone else, like Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn or Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower. SB Nation's mock has Glenn going to the Bengals at No. 21, but Hightower falling to Pittsburgh at No. 24.
You have to think the Steelers would really like to have Poe, having gotten familiar with what Ngata can do and seeing the 34-year old Casey Hampton recover from a torn ACL. The Rams will not be the only team making a trade in the draft this year, but we lack those kind of predictive powers. As such, we put Hightower here. The Alabama product is solid replacement for the aging James Farrior.
That makes sense. Hightower would be a good value at No. 24.
For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain. For more on the draft, there's Mocking The Draft.