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2012 NFL Draft: Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw Set To Visit Steelers

One of the most popular names being linked to the Pittsburgh Steelers in recent mock drafts has been Dont'a Hightower, an inside linebacker from Alabama who could step right in and help replace James Farrior. But Hightwoer isn't the only linebacker on the National Champion Crimson Tide worth drafting in the first round. His partner in crime Courtney Upshaw is more of an outside linebacker, and he might go a little bit higher in the first round than Hightower. According to Behind the Steel Curtain, both players will be visiting the Steelers.

Much has been made of Hightower in SteelerNation, and fairly so. The team is thin at the inside linebacker position, and, at whatever point in the draft it may come, it's a near certainty they will spend at least one pick at the position. Against the run, there is little to fear with Hightower. He attacks downhill and has a good sense for the football. Perhaps more importantly, though, if he is to be trained in the communication-heavy buck LB position, his intelligence and football acumen must be sharp. Both appear to be pluses for Hightower, perhaps even enough to make up for only adequate pass coverage skills.

Hightower has a much greater chance of making it to the Steelers pick at No. 24, and with LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison already on the edge, he is a better fit with the defense as well.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain. For more on the NFL Draft, there's Mocking The Draft. Here's SB Nation's latest mock draft.

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