The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected by many to pick up some defensive players in the 2012 NFL Draft. The consensus pick right now for the Steelers seems to be Alabama linebacker Don'ta Hightower. Hightower would be a fit in the Steelers defense who need to replace James Farrior.
Over at Steelers Depot, Dave Bryan has gone ahead and picked for the Steelers in all seven rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. Here are who Bryan projects for the Steelers:
- Round 1 - Pick No. 24 - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
- Round 2 - Pick No. 56 - Brandon Brooks, OL, Miami (FL)
- Round 3 - Pick No. 83 - Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama
- Round 4 - Pick No. 119 - James-Michael Johnson, ILB, Nevada
- Round 5 - Pick No. 159 - Aaron Henry, FS, Wisconsin
- Round 6 - Pick No. 193 - Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami (FL)
- Round 7 - Pick No. 231 - Keith Tandy, DB, West Virginia
- Round 7 - Pick No. 240 - Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma State
- Round 7 - Pick No. 246 - Ryan Van Bergen, DE, Michigan
- Round 7 - Pick No. 248 - Jerrell Harris, LB, Alabama
This is certainly an interesting draft for the Steelers and would make a lot of sense. The pick of Fleener in the first round would seem a bit odd with Heath Miller already on the roster, but the Steelers reportedly want to run the football more, so having both Fleener and Miller on the field allows the Steelers to run and pass out of the same formations.
The next three picks for the Steelers would work out perfectly. Brandon Brooks is an excellent offensive line prospect, a big area of need for the Steelers, and Josh Chapman is considered to be the best 3-4 nose tackle in the draft by a lot of experts. Chapman played much of his 2011 season on a torn ACL, so that is what's keeping him in the mid-rounds. It's possible Chapman could wind up in the second round however, if a team really covers him as a 3-4 nose tackle.
James-Michael Johnson is a very athletic run and hit linebacker that has drawn a lot of buzz lately in the draft and would certainly fit at the inside linebacker position for the Steelers. Beyond the fourth round is really a crap shoot, but Bryan picks up some interesting players. Miami wide receiver Tommy Streeter has size, speed, and lots of upside so if he's still available in the sixth-round he's a no brainer pick.