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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper's Dream Steelers Draft Includes Dont'a Hightower

Mel Kiper recently went team by team and layer out his dream situation for the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers have picks in each of those rounds, and Kiper has projected them to fill up some of their more serious positions of need early. He has them taking Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower in the first round, Illinois offensive lineman Jeff Allen in the second and finally Clemson defensive back Brandon Thompson in the third.

Everyone expects the Steelers to take Hightower, so you know Pittsburgh is going to surprise and go elsewhere. I can see the Steelers taking a guard or outside linebacker in the first round. Allen would be a smart pick in the second round because he can play guard or tackle. Thompson would be a steal because he's a top-50 prospect.

Like Kiper said, Hightower is becoming a near-unanimous pick for the Steelers in various mocks, but whether or not that means he'll be around for them to pick is another matter. The other two picks should provide some solid depth in other areas of need.

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.