2012 NFL Mock Draft: 7-Round Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft, Version 2
A lot has happened since the Pittsburgh Steelers' season ended in the first round of the playoffs.
The biggest story of the offseason has been the hiring of Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. This move signals a change in offensive philosophy and a possible change in draft strategy.
Pittsburgh has plenty of talent at this skill positions, but with the shift in offense, may look to beef up their offensive line to help maximize that talent.
Even with the needs on the offensive line, the Steelers could still add youth on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at nose tackle, inside linebacker and safety.
With my second mock draft, I will take a different approach than the first version. This mock draft will strongly take into consideration the hiring of Haley and his potential impact on the draft.
Round 1: Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
The Steelers have a number of different directions that they could go in the first round, but with the idea of improving the offense, Cordy Glenn is a solid option.
Pittsburgh's guards are the weakness of their offensive line, and Glenn would be an instant upgrade.
With Marcus Gilbert potentially sliding over to left tackle and Maurkice Pouncey at center, Glenn would give the Steelers a trio of former SEC players who would form a very good (and young) left side of the line.
Glenn has played both guard and tackle at Georgia, but will best fit at guard in the NFL given his trouble against speed rushers.
Glenn is a huge body, standing at 6'5" and 348 pounds, who can move well as a pulling left guard. He is incredibly strong and will be able to handle the massive defensive fronts that the Steelers face in the AFC North.
This would be a nice upgrade for the Steelers, as current left guard Doug Legurksy struggles against bigger linemen.
The addition of Glenn would give Pittsburgh a respectable offensive line heading into the 2012 season as they look to upgrade their rushing game and protect Ben Roethlisberger better.
Previous Selection: Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
Round 2: Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Washington
Pittsburgh will have plenty of options in the first two rounds with the caliber of talent in this year's draft, and by selecting Alameda Ta'amu, they will have filled two of their top needs.
Casey Hampton tore his ACL, and Chris Hoke retired, leaving Steve McLendon as the only nose tackle on the roster.
Ta'amu is a great value at this point of the second round and will be the space eater that the Steelers desire with their nose tackles. His 6'3", 337-pound body is a perfect size to be the center of Pittsburgh's defensive line.
The Steelers struggled this season at stopping the run and generating a pass rush in part because their defensive line did not control the line of scrimmage. One of the problems was Hampton's inability to command the double teams that he had done in the past.
Ta'amu will demand two blockers and has the ability to get to the quarterback as well.
The upgrade at nose tackle will not only help against the run, but will also free up space for the linebackers to make plays.
Previous Selection: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
Round 3: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
Pittsburgh has a strong group of young receivers already on the roster and can add another dimension with Marvin McNutt.
The current group has a ton of quickness and speed, but lacks size and an overly physical style of play. Though they can be physical, there are no big-bodied receivers to create mismatch problems for opposing defenses.
At 6'4", McNutt is a big, strong receiver who is a good route runner and has improved each year in school.
McNutt was very productive as a senior, with 1,315 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Though he does not project as a top receiver, McNutt could eventually develop into a solid second option. His size would be a fine addition for Roethlisberger, and he can slowly be developed with three young players ahead of him.
Todd Haley has also had success with big receivers (Larry Fitzgerald and Dwayne Bowe).
McNutt would also provide insurance just in case the Steelers cannot re-sign Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders.
Previous Selection: Brandon Lindsay, OLB, Pitt
Round 4: Aaron Henry, S, Wisconsin
Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark are getting older, and while Ryan Mundy is a quality back-up, the Steelers could use another developmental prospect at safety.
Aaron Henry has experience at cornerback before he switched to safety, so he brings an element of coverage to the position.
Henry is also not afraid to get involved in run defense, something that the Steelers expect from their safeties.
Given his limited experience at the position, Henry figures to improve, especially with Carnell Lake coaching him.
Previous Selection: Jerry Franklin, ILB, Arkansas
Round 5: Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
Rashard Mendenhall may not be ready to start the 2012 season, leaving Isaac Redman as the Steelers' starting running back.
Baron Batch flashed some potential as a third-down back last season, and John Clay provides a power option who is a good straight-line runner.
Jonathan Dwyer is an interesting option as well and has the highest upside of the group. However, he has been out of shape and needs to show better consistency with his preparation and performance.
Cyrus Gray is a nice late-round option who could be a good complimentary back moving forward.
Previous Selection: Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois
Round 6: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
Pittsburgh will be on the search for a long-term back-up quarterback, and taking a flier on a late-round prospect like Russell Wilson may be a good option.
Wilson was a very good college player who has enough skills to be a backup in the NFL, but never a starter.
At this point of the draft, finding a potential backup quarterback is a pretty good deal. Wilson can do a lot on the field, whether it is with his arms or his legs, and would be a quality third stringer for the near future.
Previous Selection: George Bryan, TE, North Carolina
Round 7: Chad Diehl, FB, Clemson
The Steelers want to run the ball more effectively next season, and adding a true fullback will help them achieve this.
David Johnson misses too many blocks and does not lead the runner as a true fullback would.
Haley has geared his offenses to his talent, and the Steelers have talent at running back, but they can get the most of their backs if they had a guy leading the way.
Previous Selection: Matt Conrath, DE, Virginia
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