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NFL Mock Draft 2012: The Sporting News Predicts The Steelers Will Select Don'ta Hightower

The Sporting News, in their correspondents mock draft, predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers will select Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Don'ta Hightower with the No. 24 overall draft pick. The explanation for this pick was provided by Gary Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

With the loss of defensive captain James Farrior, the Steelers have a large hole in the middle of their defense. Plus, they need to get younger and faster on D. Hightower is a player who fits their aggressive, big-play style.

The question only remains whether or not Hightower will be available to the Steelers at this point in the first round. If he is selected by another team prior to the Steelers, Pittsburgh could look for another defensive player or try to address the offensive line.

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.