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Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Draft Tek's Latest Picks

Nick DeWittAnalyst IFebruary 23, 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Draft Tek's Latest Picks

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    Draft Tek finally has a full seven-round mock draft up for all fans to see as the Combine, Pro Day and the rest of the rookie scouting season unfolds. The Pittsburgh Steelers have seven projected selections (the site doesn't examine the potential compensatory picks).

    Here's a look at who they've selected for the Steelers and whether or not I agree or disagree with their selections.

Round 1: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

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    Buy or Sell: Buy 

     

    Analysis

    As much as the team has a more pressing need at defensive tackle, they also need to get younger at inside linebacker. There are no guarantees that James Farrior will be retained given the team's cap situation and the fact that he's slowing after 15 seasons of pounding.

    Hightower is the perfect replacement. He could sit behind Larry Foote for a year or even potentially come in right away and start (not likely given the team's defensive scheme being very difficult and intricate).

    Either way, by 2013, he'd be in the lineup.

    I love this pick.

Round 2: Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington

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    Buy or Sell: Sell

     

    Analysis

    The team needs a defensive tackle, but at this point in their full mock, Draft Tek has left Josh Chapman, the Alabama defensive tackle, and LaMichael James, the Oregon running back (pictured coincidentally), on the board.

    I feel like Chapman is going to be the better pro.

    Ta'amu has a lot of risk attached to him coming out of Washington. He has weight issues. (Sound familiar?) After seeing him play, I have questions about his consistency. He doesn't seem to give it all on every play (insert Albert Haynesworth jab here).

Round 3: Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State

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    Buy or Sell: Sell

     

    Analysis

    No. I couldn't even find a picture of the guy. That's no measure, as Pittsburgh has routinely shown with small-school products who have become sturdy starters. But in this case, and with an offensive line that needs someone with some big game experience, I'm buying Nate Potter, who's still on the board.

    Potter comes from a high-octane passing offense at Boise State. Silatolu has the measurables and talent, but I just don't see it being enough for him to be taken here. Maybe in another round or two, but at this point, Potter is still my guy.

Round 4: Matt Conrath, DE, Virginia

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    Buy or Sell: Sell

     

    Analysis

    Why a defensive end? The Steelers have two young defensive ends, a stalwart veteran (Brett Keisel) and none of them show any cracks. Sure Aaron Smith will likely retire now, but there's no reason to draft a backup at a position already saturated with youth.

    Even if the Steelers take a guard in Round 3, I would do the same in Round 4 with a guy like Brandon Brooks from Miami (OH). They can stand to upgrade the depth along their offensive line. It needs help at almost every position.

    The defensive end spot shouldn't even come up this year.

Round 5: Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois

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    Buy or Sell: Buy

     

    Analysis

    I like this move. Right now, Willie Colon and Marcus Gilbert are the projected starters at the tackle spots for Pittsburgh. That sounds great. But Gilbert is a second-year player who didn't play on the left side last year very much. Colon is a major injury risk and has missed almost all of the last two years.

    To make matters worse, Jonathan Scott is the swing tackle. He has proven that he might have issues handling a tackling dummy.

    Given the team's recent bad luck with offensive line injuries, drafting some new depth cannot hurt one bit.

Round 6: Lennon Creer, RB, Louisiana Tech

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    Buy or Sell: Buy 

     

    Analysis

    The Steelers are expected to return to at least a more balanced offensive scheme in 2012. Team president Art Rooney II wants more running plays. With Rashard Mendenhall expected to miss most if not all of 2012 with a torn ACL, the Steelers might want some insurance behind Isaac Redman.

    Baron Batch figures to be in the mix as he returns from his own ACL injury. Jonathan Dwyer also may get a look. John Clay is in there too. A guy like Creer, especially this late, is a low risk, high reward option. He certainly couldn't hurt, and his skill set is a nice compliment to what Redman does.

Round 7: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin

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    Buy or Sell: Buy

     

    Analysis

    I love this pick. If it happens, it would help ensure that the Steelers have a clear quarterback situation for years to come.

    In recent seasons, the Steelers have made do with ill-equipped (Dennis Dixon) or injury-plagued (Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich), backups behind Ben Roethlisberger.

    That's not wise. Roethlisberger plays the game with what can only be called reckless abandon.

    Grooming a young quarterback behind him who can step in if he's injured is essential. If the team can bring back Batch for one final season to help with the coaching, it makes perfect sense to take Wilson right here.

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