2012 NFL Draft: 5 Players the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Avoid in the 1st Round

Chris Gazze@ChrisG_PITCorrespondent IApril 6, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 5 Players the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Avoid in the 1st Round

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    Preparation for the NFL draft involves teams looking at who they can add to improve their roster, but it is also important to determine which players are not good fits as first-round selections.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have a specific set of needs, and while they will not let purely their needs dictate their draft board, it will certainly have some impact.

    Beyond what positions the team needs to improve, the Steelers will also eliminate any player with major character concerns as a possible first-round option.

    Here are five players which the Steelers should avoid in the first round.

Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

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    Janoris Jenkins is one of the most talented cornerbacks in this draft and should be taken in the top 15 selections.

    However, with Dre Kirkpatrick and Stephon Gilmore also potential first-round picks, Jenkins' talent may not be able to overcome his off-field issues, which could cause him to slip down draft boards.

    If he does happen to fall to the Steelers, they will not take him, given his recent history of trouble off the field.

    Jenkins was dismissed from Florida for multiple arrests involving marijuana possession, was arrested for being involved in a fight and got tasered because he resisted arrest and was ejected from a game for throwing a punch.

    Pittsburgh has not been without some character concerns in the past, but they are not a team to draft a player with so much baggage.

Any Wide Receiver

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    I believe by now we all understand the Steelers' issues at wide receiver.

    The team is in good shape for at least this year if Mike Wallace stays, it is the future that is potentially troubling with the impending free agent status of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

    There is also the concern of the lack of depth if any injuries occur as well.

    With these issues in mind, it is still not enough to justify taking a wide receiver in the first round. Pittsburgh has had success drafting wide receivers later in the draft, and there should be some good ones later in this year's draft.

    This may mean passing on some quality prospects including Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill and Alshon Jeffery, but with the depth at the position, they can find a good player who can develop in the mid to late rounds.

Any Running Back

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    The Steelers have a lot of depth at running back, but there is no star in the group, with Rashard Mendenhall not expected to be at 100 percent this season due to an injured ACL.

    While they have enough depth to get them through the season with Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Baron Batch as their likely top three backs, Pittsburgh could use a game-breaker and potential future starter.

    A running back is a likely selection at some point, but by no means should they take one in the first round.

    That rules out fringe first-round prospects Lamar Miller, Doug Martin and David Wilson. The only way that the Steelers take a back that high is if Trent Richardson falls, and that is very unlikely.

    Any of the other options would be realistic in the second round. The first is just too early with so many other needs on the team.

Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

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    Pittsburgh could use a true second tight end behind Heath Miller, a player who can stay in at block or excel in the passing game.

    Fleener fits the bill, as he was an accomplished blocker at Stanford and is a huge target at 6'6". He would give Pittsburgh an excellent option in the red zone.

    As much as the Steelers need a back-up tight end, the first round is way too early to take a player who is unlikely to surpass Miller any time soon.

    Fleener is probably overrated as a potential first-round player as well.

    Tight ends became the new rage this season with the success that New England had with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, as well as the success of Vernon Davis and Jimmy Graham.

    The emphasis on athletic tight ends, as well as a weak tight end draft class, has pushed Fleener higher up draft boards than what he should be. It is not like the Steelers to reach in the first, especially for a player who will be a backup for the foreseeable future.

Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

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    Tackle is one of the most important positions on offense, and the Steelers could use an upgrade. Mike Adams is one of the names being tossed around as a first-round selection.

    Adams has the potential to be a franchise left tackle. He can also be left on the bench, as Adams is classified as a boom-or-bust player.

    Last season, Adams was suspended for the first five games, and after returning to action, he had an up-and-down season.

    Adams has had trouble with speed rushers, which may mean that he would have to play right tackle in the NFL. That would not be much of a problem since Marcus Gilbert is slated to take over on the left side, but do the Steelers want to take such a risky player in the first?

    The greatest concern about Adams is his work ethic, which has been questioned by some. The last thing that the Steelers need is another slow, unathletic lineman who is not a top notch worker.

    Adams could be great, but I would not be willing to take that chance on him to find out.


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