Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 NFL Draft: An Early Look at 5 First-Round Possibilities
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a rough start to the 2011 season, and seeing some glaring holes on the team has made me start to think about what we would need in next year’s draft.
No one knows how the Steelers are going to finish at this point so I have not taken into account how high any of these guys will actually go in April.
A lot of things are going to change before the end of both the NCAA and NFL seasons, but anyway, here are five players that I think the Steelers will at least be looking at in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.
OT Matt Kalil, USC
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Matt Kalil would be exactly the type of player that the Steelers need on the team—someone who would step in on Day 1 as the starting left tackle.
The Steelers offensive line is an atrocity right now, even though Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert are two young components for the future.
Kalil is known as the best offensive lineman in the draft, and is strong in both his run-blocking and pass protection.
RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
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There has been a lot of grumbling from fans about Rashard Mendenhall, whether about his offseason comments, or his play so far in 2011.
A lot of it has to do with the offensive line not opening any holes, but Rashard still does not look like he is running as hard as he did last season at all.
Trent Richardson has shown explosion and power that the Steelers like, and if the team is comfortable with parting with Mendenhall, I could see them surprising and going this route.
OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford
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I have already mentioned how terrible the Steelers offensive line has been this season, so honestly I would hope that their pick would be on some kind of lineman.
Jonathan Martin has the tough distinction of blocking for the future No. 1 pick in the draft in Andrew Luck, and is actually a better run-blocker than pass-blocker.
Martin may not be the complete dominant force that Matt Kalil is, however, he is still one of the top tackles in this draft, and can play either left or right tackle in my opinion.
OT Riley Reiff, Iowa
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I see Riley Reiff probably being more of a right tackle in the NFL, and the Steelers could use any type of offensive lineman.
If they took Reiff in the draft I would see them moving Marcus Gilbert to left tackle, and then having Reiff and Willie Colon take up right guard and tackle.
Reiff is not as good in pass protection as Matt Kalil or Jonathan Martin, however, that does not mean he is terrible, and he is just as good a run-blocker as anyone in the draft.
T/G Cordy Glenn, Georgia
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Cordy Glenn has something the Steelers love to draft, and that is position versatility coming right out of college.
Glenn can play both guard and tackle, which is great for the Steelers with all of the injuries on the offensive line they have had to deal with this season.
Although Glenn has not had a great season to this point, he could step in and start at either guard spot and give good depth at tackle if the team needed it.