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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Greg Cosell Has Steelers Selecting Kevin Zeitler

NFL Films' Greg Cosell, one of the most respected NFL analysts in the game, released his first-ever mock draft this week. Cosell voraciously plows through more film than almost any other analyst, and he based his mock purely off his film study -- with the results largely contradicting what many other mock draft experts have projected for months now.

Cosell, however, still has the Steelers selecting an offensive lineman with the No. 24 pick, even if it's a new name for many Pittsburgh fans. Other mocks have projected Pittsburgh taking Wisconsin's Kevin Zeitler in the second round, but Cosell thinks he's a first-round talent worthy of the No. 24 pick. Via Greg Cosell of NFL Films:

24. Pittsburgh: The Steelers select one of my favorite players to watch on tape, Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler. Guard is clearly a position of need for Pittsburgh. I'm sure many will disagree, but I believe Zeitler is a better athlete than [David] DeCastro. He has quick and active feet that allowed him to be very effective in the zone run game. He squared up well as a puller in the power run game, showing strength on contact. Zeitler was not as purely physical and nasty as DeCastro, but I saw a more athletic and complete OG.

Ranking Zeitler ahead of DeCastro certainly goes against the grain of conventional rankings in this draft, but Cosell has done the leg work to make such proclamations. It's likely Zeitler will be available at No. 24 (DeCastro will probably be off the board), so Pittsburgh should have a shot at the offensive guard who so impressed Cosell.

For more on the Pittsburgh Steelers, visit Behind the Steel Curtain. For all the latest NFL Draft news, visit Mocking the Draft.

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