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fordfixer
03-09-2012, 01:53 AM
[/URL] News and updates about the Pittsburgh Steelers
[url]http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2012/03/08/kiper-has-steelers-picking-bama-lb/ (http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill)

Kiper has Steelers picking ‘Bama LB (http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2012/03/08/kiper-has-steelers-picking-bama-lb/) March 8th, 2012

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has the Steelers taking Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower in the first round of his most recent mock draft.
Kiper, during a conference call Thursday afternoon, said the 6-2 ½, 265-pound Hightower has answered any questions about the torn ACL he suffered his sophomore season at Alabama.
“He’s getting back to the form he showed early on,” Kiper said. “How many 265-pound linebackers can run and get the job done like he can? There’s a lot of roles he could play but in Pittsburgh he would be a key edition.”
The Steelers conducted a formal interview with Hightower at the NFL Combine late last month. Their need for a linebacker such as Hightower has only increased following the release of James Farrior.
Hightower ran a 4.68 in the 40 at the Combine, which won’t dazzle teams but should convince them that his speed won’t be an issue at the next level. I get the sense that the Steelers are trying to determine if Hightower is truly a first-round prospect and that they want to be certain their evaluation of him isn’t skewed by two factors.
They are: The help the Steelers need at inside linebacker and the reality that if they don’t take one early they might not find a long-term replacement for Farrior.
General manager Kevin Colbert attended the first of two Alabama Pro Days Wednesday in Tuscaloosa. The Steelers can get another look at Hightower at the end of the month when Alabama stages a second workout for draft prospects.
Two other items of note from Kiper’s conference call:
– Kiper said comparisons between Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe and Ravens Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata are premature if not off base.
But Kiper is of the belief that Poe, who blew away teams at the Combine with his blend of size, strength and speed, will be gone well before the Steelers make their first-round pick (No. 24 overall).
“He’s not as intense, not as physical as some of the other defensive tackles for a player his size,” Kiper said of Poe. “But he moves so well and had such a great workout. I think he could go in the top 15.
“I don’t think he’s going to be Haloti Ngata. I think that’s a little bit of a stretch to say he’s going to be that type of player but certainly there’s going to be an opportunity for him to go pretty high in the first round.”
– Kiper apparently doesn’t share Devon Still’s belief that the Penn State product is the best defensive tackle in the draft.
Kiper has Still, who made his bold claim at the Combine, slipping into the second round of the draft.
Kiper said Still’s injury history and the fact that he was a “one-year wonder” at Penn State are potential red flags. Still, he added, hasn’t “wowed” teams during the pre-draft process though Kiper called him a “a big kid with rare physical ability.”
“I thought about Pittsburgh for him,” Kiper said of Still and the first round of his latest mock draft. “Denver could use him but I ultimately pushed him into the second round.”
– Scott Brown

Dee Dub
03-09-2012, 12:29 PM
There is no question that the Steelers are interested in Hightower. I believe that if he is selected by the Steelers, many fans who were misinformed about him will be very surprised at how good he is. And also surprised that he isnt a 2 down ILB who isnt the liability in coverage that some think.

I also like what Kiper had to say about Poe. If you look at what he was on the field, he did not show that he was s first round talent.

phillyesq
03-09-2012, 12:39 PM
Kiper had Poe at 9 overall, Kuechly at 11, DeCastro at 20, Glenn at 21. If the draft falls that way, I'd love to see the Steelers make a move to go up a few spots and grab DeCastro or Glenn.

grotonsteel
03-09-2012, 12:40 PM
Steelers are interested in Donta hopefully as a Rd 2 player. With no Tomlin, DL or Butler at Alabama Pro Day i am not sure if they are looking at him as a RD 1 player.
:stirpot

Now i read somewhere Tomlin, Haley and Co. attended Miami Univ Pro Day. Brandon Washington and Lamar Miller here we come.

grotonsteel
03-09-2012, 12:43 PM
Kiper had Poe at 9 overall, Kuechly at 11, DeCastro at 20, Glenn at 21. If the draft falls that way, I'd love to see the Steelers make a move to go up a few spots and grab DeCastro or Glenn.

If Glenn or DeCastro are available at 20-21 range i hope Steelers make a move to grab one of these player.

Dee Dub
03-09-2012, 12:44 PM
Steelers are interested in Donta hopefully as a Rd 2 player. With no Tomlin, DL or Butler at Alabama Pro Day i am not sure if they are looking at him as a RD 1 player.
:stirpot

Now i read somewhere Tomlin, Haley and Co. attended Miami Univ Pro Day. Brandon Washington and Lamar Miller here we come.

Tomlin doesnt make the draft decisions. Colbert does. And Colbert was at the Alabama pro day. :wink:

Hightower never makes it past Baltimore or New England in the first round.

Steelersrock151
03-09-2012, 12:55 PM
Guess I'm just not on the "2 down linebacker" kick. Hightower is not nearly as slow as people thought when they said he was a two down backer. He was estimated at 4.85, ran a 4.68. Only 1/10th of a second slower than Keuchly, and no one says he's a two down backer. With his speed, size, and ability to not only run through blockers but also put a hand on the ground and go to defensive end, he's perfect for a nickle package, especially as a mirror for running cornerbacks and as a blitzer. Given his ability to bitz and the Steelers zone blitz scheme, he could do to our defense what Troy did when he was drafted.

RuthlessBurgher
03-09-2012, 01:22 PM
If Glenn or DeCastro are available at 20-21 range i hope Steelers make a move to grab one of these player.

Oh, absolutely...I've been on record as willing to give up our 2nd round pick to move up into the top half of the first round for DeCastro. If we only had to sacrifice our 3rd rounder to move up to the late teens, sign me up now.

Our first (740) and third (150) round picks are worth 890 points total. The 19th overall pick is worth 875 and the 18th overall pick is worth 900. I'd be calling San Diego and Chicago in a heartbeat.