It’s getting to the point with 2012 NFL mock drafts where, even though 23 teams are making their selections before the Steelers do, the Steelers’ likely pick has become so obvious that there’s hardly even a need to report on it from day to day. After Dontari Poe played himself out of the Steelers’ draft range with an awesome combine performance, Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower is the new ‘it’ guy, simply because he’s the only obvious player who’s in the right range in terms of talent who also fills a need.
In practice, the draft won’t turn out to be so obvious, but for now, it’s hard to blame every analyst ever to watch a combine drill for suggesting the Steelers will pick Hightower at No. 24.
Todd McShay is the latest.
Offensive line and cornerback are bigger needs, but the there are no players at those positions worth this pick and the Steelers are not a team that reaches for need. Hightower carries a fringe first-round grade, but he eased durability concerns in 2011 and there are few 263-pounders who run like he does. Hightower is a perfect fit in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 scheme with his ability to control the interior.
That sounds about right to me.
For more on the NFL Draft, check out Mocking The Draft. For more on the Steelers, there’s Behind The Steel Curtain.