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2012 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Projects Dont'a Hightower To Steelers

Free Agency has changed the landscape of the upcoming NFL Draft as some teams have filled some of the holes that they might have addressed during the Draft. On the other hand, some team cuts have made positions that needed shoring up an even greater need; like inside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The guys over at SB Nation have come out with their latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft, and as with most recent mock drafts, they have the Steelers plugging that hole with Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower.

It was a massacre in Pittsburgh, a salary cap massacre. The Steelers' defense needs youth, and Hightower gives their linebacking corps just that. The Alabama product is more than just young; he looks like the spiritual heir to James Farrior and is a tough, versatile player who can contribute immediately.

Hightower might have gotten more publicity if he weren't part of such an incredible defensive unit for Alabama surrounded by other first-round picks. He could step right in and help alongside Lawrence Timmons, while making what was a position of need a position of young strength.

For more on the NFL Draft, check out Mocking The Draft. For more on the Steelers, there's Behind The Steel Curtain.

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