2012 NFL Draft: Why Dont'a Hightower Is Perfect Fit for Pittsburgh Steelers

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2012 NFL Draft: Why Dont'a Hightower Is Perfect Fit for Pittsburgh Steelers
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Dont'a Hightower led Alabama with 81 tackles last season.

If the Steelers were to select Alabama inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower in the 2012 draft, he would not only contribute, but also make the already stellar defense better. Hightower is a young, yet experienced player whose size and play-making abilities will scare offensive coordinators.

The Steelers defense ranked No. 1 in overall defense and in pass defense last season. The difference that not many people are talking about is that for the first time in five years the run defense was not ranked in the top three. They ranked No. 8 in run defense, which is still nice, but in Pittsburgh the norm is dominance.

Stopping the run starts with the three down linemen in Pittsburgh's 3-4 scheme. Those guys are space eaters, and make room for the linebackers (usually the inside linebackers) to swarm in and make tackles.

Teams were able to run the ball more effectively against Pittsburgh for two reasons. First being the injuries they had along the defensive line. The second being that other than Lawrence Timmons, they were slow at inside linebacker.

Hightower is a perfect fit for these blatantly clear reasons.

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