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2012 NFL Draft Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

The draft is only days away now so we figured it was a good time to wrap up the offseason activity to date and post up some additional last minute thoughts on the options the Steelers could explore on draft weekend. This is yet another set of possibilities for the team this offseason and we’ve covered many angles since the draft talk really got under way this year. As we know things can and do change on draft day every year and the Steelers are not afraid to go against the grain of traditional thinking, even with early picks.

Steeler Addicts will have a full draft tracker on the website starting Thursday Morning. We’ll have writeups on each draft pick the Steelers select, how those players can fit in to Mike Tomlin’s team, potential current roster moves as a result of draft picks, and much more!  We gotcha covered.

Primary position needs before the draft: OL, MLB, NT – Also depth at OLB, RB, QB, WR

Notable Additions:

Leonard Pope TE, Chiefs

Jerricho Cotchery WR,  signed to new contract

Notable Losses:

Hines Ward WR, retired

William Gay CB, Cardinals

James Farrior – released

Chris Kemoeatu – released

6 First round possibilities:

Mike Adams OT, Ohio State– At one point during the draft process, draft insider Tony Pauline reported that Adams was “the apple of their eye.”

Dontari Poe NT, Memphis – The Steelers let themselves get old on the offensive line. But in recent years they’ve fixed two-thirds of the problem (Ziggy Hood in ’09 and Cam Heyward in ’11). In ’12, it’s time to get their nose tackle.

Jonathan Martin OT, Stanford – The Steelers look like they need more offensive line help. What else is new?

Donta Hightower, MLB, Alabama – With James Farrior released the Steelers can use a stud like Hightower to step in along side Lawrence Timmons as a future tandem for a long time to come.

Kevin Zeitler OG, Wisconsin – Zeitler is ready to start right now in Pittsburgh.

Rueben Randle WR, LSU – Hines Ward retired and Mike Wallace isn’t in any hurry to stay in Pittsburgh.

Steelers’ Draft Board: I’ve mainly included players that the Steelers have shown interest in during the draft process (see my complete list of players that each team has shown interest in):

1st Round Tier

1. Mike Adams OT, Ohio State (facility visit)

2. Jonathan Martin OT, Stanford (facility visit)

3. Donta Hightower, ILB, Alabama

3. Dontari Poe DT, Memphis (facility visit)

4. Jerel Worthy DT, Michigan State

5. Don’ta Hightower LB, Alabama (facility visit)

6. Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB, Alabama

7. Nick Perry DE/OLB, USC (facility visit)

8. Chandler Jones DE, Syracuse

2nd Round Tier

9. Bobby Massie OT, Mississippi (facility visit)

10. Brandon Brooks OG, Miami (OH) (facility visit)

11. Amini Silatolu OG, Midwestern State (facility visit)

12. Andre Branch DE/OLB, Clemson (facility visit)

13. Mychal Kendricks LB, California (facility visit)

3rd Round Tier

14. Greg Childs WR, Arkansas (facility visit)

15. Kirk Cousins QB, Michigan State

16. Isaiah Pead RB, Cincinnati (facility visit)

17. Ladarius Green TE, Louisiana-Lafayette (facility visit, private workout)

18. Michael Egnew TE, Missouri (facility visit)

19. LaMichael James RB, Oregon (facility visit)

20. Derek Wolfe DL, Cincinnati (facility visit)

21. Trent Robinson S, Michigan State

4th Round Tier

22. Joe Adams WR, Arkansas

23. TY Hilton WR, Florida International (facility visit)

24. Chris Greenwood CB, Albion College

25. Hebron Fangupo DT, BYU (facility visit)

26. Cam Johnson DE, Virginia (facility visit)

5th Round Tier

27. Keith Tandy CB, West Virginia (facility visit, private workout)

28. Adrien Robinson TE, Cincinnati (facility visit)

6th Round Tier

29. Akiem Hicks DT, Regina (facility visit)

30. Olivier Vernon OLB, Miami (FL) (facility visit)

7th Round Tier

31. Buddy Jackson CB, Pittsburgh

32. Jerrell Harris LB, Alabama (facility visit)

33. Myles Wade DT, Portland State

34. David Paulson TE, Oregon (facility visit)

35. Ryan Davis DE/OLB, Bethune-Cookman

36. Tony Clemons WR, Colorado (facility visit)

Undrafted Free Agents Tier

37. James Stampley FB, LSU

38. Aldarius Johnson WR, Miami (FL)

39. Keshawn Martin WR, Michigan State (facility visit)

40. David Mosley WR, Northwest Missouri State

41. Kevin Doty TE, Lafayette College

42. Kelvin Beachum OL, SMU (facility visit)

43. Morkeith Brown DE, Temple

44. John Hughes DT, Cincinnati (facility visit)

45. Nicolas Jean-Baptiste DT, Baylor

46. EJ Nduka OLB, Sam Houston State

47. Jeremy Jones S, Wayne State (facility visit)

48. Zach Nolan LS, Stanford (facility visit)

Pro days attended: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Boston College, California, Central Michigan, Furman, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Miami (OH), Miami (FL), Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, North Texas, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Penn State, Purdue, Richmond, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee-Chattanooga, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wayne State, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Picks in the 2012 NFL Draft:

Round 1, Pick 24 (24)

Round 2, Pick 24 (56)

Round 3, Pick 23 (86)

Round 4, Pick 24 (119)

Round 5, Pick 24 (159)

Round 6, Pick 23 (193)

Round 7, Pick 24 (231)

Round 7, Pick 33 (240) (Compensatory selection)

Round 7, Pick 39 (246) (Compensatory selection)

Round 7, Pick 41 (248) (Compensatory selection)


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