No one seems to agree on any of the picks the Steelers could or should make in the 2012 NFL Draft. There are 10-15 names being tossed around for the first round alone. The only player that shows up on multiple mock drafts is Alabama inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower. However, with Stevenson Sylvester and Larry Foote ready to fill in for Farrior; as well as inside linebackers available later in the draft the Steelers may not be looking for a replacement this early. Arizona State inside linebacker, Vontaze Burfict, was considered a first round pick prior to the combine. After a poor showing and some attitude concerns, Burfict, is projected to fall to the sixth or seventh round or go undrafted altogether. The Steelers may be better off addressing more pressing needs, such as the offensive line, in the first round and grabbing a project player for linebacker as insurance if Sylvester does not pan out; however I believe he is the future alongside Lawrence Timmons.
Currently looking at realistic options the best scenario for the Steelers may be to trade back or to trade out of the first round completely. Some of the players that best fit the needs for the Steelers are a reach at pick #24 and could be had in the early second round, most likely, such as Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler. The Steelers also met with Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks who is another prospect destined for the second round, but would be an incredible reach at #24. Within a few picks of the Steelers the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens are all potentially looking for wide receiver help. With Kendall Wright of Baylor, Stephon Hill of Georgia Tech, and Alshon Jeffrey of South Carolina all potential still on the board at #24 the Steelers could strike a deal with a team looking to get back into the first to grab a wide receiver. Perhaps the Colts would like a weapon for Andrew Luck? Maybe Minnesota would like to pair Christian Ponder with a top wide out? In any scenario the Steelers would likely receive a second and third round pick as compensation.
This would allow for a mock draft that could potentially look like:
2a.) Kevin Zeitler, OG Wisconsin
2b.) Mychal Kendricks, ILB CAL
3a.) Josh Chapman, NT Alabama
3b.) Jeff Allen, OT Illinois
In this scenario the Steelers would, hopefully, shore up the offensive line, find a future successor to James Farrior and a successor to Casey Hampton all in the first 4 picks of the draft leaving them with 7 picks to add depth and fill any other areas of concern.
This, however, is just another random idea as to what the Steelers could or should do in the 2012 Draft so I have decided to hand it over to the fans. In the comments section below please discuss who the Steelers should select throughout the draft. Make it reasonable please: for example saying OT Riley Rieff of Iowa who is a top 10 pick is not reasonable.
I will compile all entry’s through comments, emails, and the like and create a Steelers Fan Mock Draft.