2012 NFL Draft: What Should the Pittsburgh Steelers Do in the 2nd Round?
Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have addressed their need at guard by selecting David DeCastro with their first pick, they have a number of options in the second round.
Pittsburgh needs to find a replacement for Casey Hampton and could also fill the hole at inside linebacker.
The Steelers may also find value with an outside linebacker prospect in the second or finish fixing the offensive line by selecting a tackle.
Last week, I did a position-by-position and round-by-round break down of who the Steelers had pre-draft visits with. Pittsburgh used their second-round pick last year on Marcus Gilbert, who visited the Steelers prior to the draft, so they may take one of these players from this year's list.
Players who were rated with first- or second-round grades who are available after the first round include Andre Branch, Mike Adams and Mitchell Schwartz.
Third-round players who the Steelers may need to reach for include Cameron Johnson, Isaiah Pead, LaMichael James, Mychal Kendricks, Amini Silatolu and Bobby Massie.
I would not expect the Steelers to go running back this early after taking the best guard in the draft with their top pick. Their current stable of backs will do just fine with a better line in front of them.
It is also unlikely that the Steelers go back-to-back guards, which eliminates Silatolu.
Pittsburgh could add depth at outside linebacker if Branch falls. He is a very good pass-rusher who exploded last season. Cameron Johnson is a lower-rated prospect who has not put up big sack numbers and would be a reach.
What position should the Steelers address in the second-round?
Pittsburgh does have some interesting tackle prospects, though, as both Schwartz and Massie can be tried out at left and right tackle. With Gilbert slated to move to left tackle, one of these players could compete with Willie Colon at right tackle.
The Steelers visited with Kendricks as well and he would be a nice option at inside linebacker. He is very athletic and is smaller in size. While he will give up some against the run, he will be a major upgrade in coverage from what the team has.
While it is very tempting to get a tackle to solidify the line, the Steelers can always re-sign Max Starks and go with what they have. They really need to add youth on defense.
Ideally, Pittsburgh can find an inside linebacker, such as Kendricks or Bobby Wagner, another athletic linebacker. If not an inside linebacker, the Steelers should find an answer at nose tackle with Josh Chapman, an ideal replacement for Hampton, or Alameda Ta'amu.
Pittsburgh got a huge steal in the first, they can only hope to have the same success in the second.
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