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Pittsburgh lost its defensive leader with the release of James Farrior and it also left them with a hole at inside linebacker.
While Larry Foote is expected to start the season at the position, it is one area of the defense (besides nose tackle) that the Steelers need to upgrade.
Dont'a Hightower would be a perfect fit for Pittsburgh.
Hightower is well-versed in the 3-4 defense, playing it at Alabama, where he had a productive senior season which included 11 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
Pittsburgh could groom him behind Foote, but Hightower would likely win the starting role as a rookie given his knowledge of the defense. He has very good instincts and recognizes plays well.
The knock on Hightower is his speed, which could hurt covering running backs in the flat and tight ends down the field. He has lined up at rush-end at Alabama and he could do the same for the Steelers.
Hightower is big at 265 pounds, and he ran well at the combine which did ease some fears. He could lose another 10 pounds which could increase his speed.
Overall, Hightower is a solid player who has few holes in his game. His disciplined game could allow Lawrence Timmons to roam free and make plays.
Previous Selection: Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia