And The Pick Is in......
It's finally the long awaited day of the 2012 NFL Draft and time for the Steeler Fury staff to predict who the newest Pittsburgh Steeler will be tonight. Here are our educated guesses:
"This year's request for predicting the Steelers' first round choice doesn't have a lot of mystery. The Steelers are going to pick Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama. Hightower is not a player you measure by 40 times or drills. He's a really good football player who played in college in an extremely similar system. Not only that but he was a leader on that defense which was operating at a level way above anyone else in the college ranks. The talent pool at ILB is very shallow in this draft, maybe 3 or 4 players, tops. Other positions of need are deeper. The Steelers take Hightower and let the rest work itself out."
"I would also say Hightower, but I suppose most will pick him since he is capable of making an immediate impact to replace Farrior. I could also see an Offensive Lineman at 1/24 like Cordy Glenn OL Georgia who has played tackle and guard. His versatility could make an immediate impact in protecting Ben and help to establish a run game."
"I figured most of the Fury guys were going to select Don'ta Hightower. The selection is not only safe, but it also fills a major need. I have watched Hightower play for three years at Alabama. He has Levon Kirkland type of traits. Kirkland was poor in coverage coming out of Clemson, but he worked his craft and became a quality pass defender. I believe Hightower has a similar type of work ethic, but I also expect he is off the board when the Steelers draft. That said, I expect the Steelers trade out of the 1st round and select Harrison Smith FS Notre Dame. Smith closes in a flash. He is a wrecking ball in run support. Smith is smart and always seems to be in position in coverage, which makes him a perfect complement to Polamalu. Smith would take some of the aggressive run support duties away from Troy as well. I believe Smith could extend Polamalu's shelf life in the NFL by three or four years. I believe Troy is the best safety in the NFL and the addition of Smith would allow him to be best play maker in the NFL. The trade down would also net the Steelers an additional pick or two in the top 100 of the draft allowing them to address multiple needs at multiple positions(OG ILB OT OLB)."
"I've been leading the Hightower charge since the fall. Actually, I recall the day after the draft last year that we brought up Hightower's name on the board in a short list of possible first round picks for 2012. Nothing has changed. It all just fits too perfectly. Hightower is the perfect complement to Timmons at ILB, is experienced in the 3-4 defense, should be available, and is a good value at pick 24. If I was pressed to throw out another name that hasn't been mentioned yet I'd say Michael Brockers is my off the wall darkhorse candidate for pick 24. The 6'5 320 pound Brockers was an excellent run stuffer at LSU, and provides enough position flexibility to play either DE or DT in the Steelers 3-4 defense. His stock has slipped a bit recently since teams don't view him as a major pass rush threat, and I could see him being one of those surprise draft day fallers the Steelers could luck into. If Hightower isn't there, and a guy like Brockers doesn't fall, then I could see a trade back for the small school guard Amini Silatolu. All of that said, I still say the safe money is on Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama being there and being the pick."