By Christopher DiMarino
This is my final mock draft and will be verified in just a few days. I\’ve had a difficult time weighing who I would draft with who makes sense at that position with who the Pittsburgh Steelers organization will take. So for this final mock draft, I am not trying to choose who the Steelers will pick, but who they should pick. I think the two lists have a lot of parallels, but regardless of that fact it becomes easier for me to justify. I will release more draft information I used over the next few days as well as alternative mocks but without further adieu, here are MY final choices for the 2012 draft.
1.24) Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)
Analysis: Even considering the likelihood that Kevin Colbert probably hasn\’t given Fleener\’s name more than a simple glance I still think he makes the most sense. I think to ease the offensive woes you inject a red zone target and guy that can give Todd Haley a way to expand the Steelers offense. I think if teams get scared and want to trade up then you trade down. You can still take Fleener later in the 1st most likely, if not then a guy like Kevin Zeitler or Andre Branch also fit.
OL: Cordy Glenn – The Steelers have gone DL/OL/DL in the last 3 first rounds so there is a strong possibility that they go back to OL.
OLB: Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry, Andre Branch – These are 3 quality pass rushers who could provide necessary depth to address Harrison’s age and Worild’s question marks.
NT: Michael Brockers, Dontari Poe – Both would have to drop, both would need work.
ILB: Dont’a Hightower – Still a possibility, just a lackluster option.
CB: Stephon Gilmore – Not a position of need, but could be a terror in Carnell Lake\’s hands.
WR: Stephen Hill – Not a position of need, not a real option.
2.24 ) Brandon Brooks (OG, Miami – Ohio)
Analysis: If they don\’t take a lineman in the first round (O or D) you can bet they will here. While there are options available in round 3 at both positions ignoring both key positions will greatly stress the remainder of the draft. As far as I\’m concerned Brooks, Amini Silatolu and Bobby Massie are all good picks here, but guard is a bigger area of need. I think Silatolu, Massie and Ta\’amu will be gone so Brooks makes the most sense.
OL: Amini Silatolu, Bobby Massie, Kelechi Osemele – Include Brooks and there are 4 options, they\’ll take who\’s available.
DT: Alameda Ta’amu – Likely gone, but would be a big option if available.
ILB: Mychal Kendricks, Lavonte David, Bobby Wagner – Only a possibility if they got a NT or OG in the 1st.
RB: Doug Martin, Lamar Miller – Only an option if they drafted a OG or NT in the 1st.
3.23 ) Mike Martin (NT, Michigan)
Analysis: Taking a tight end in the first would again likely mean OL then DL or vice versa. Josh Chapman makes the most sense at NT unless they think they can get him or Martin a round later. In that case I can see them going OL 2 rounds in a row and taking Osemele. If they want to go BPA, then there are options at DE, RB and DB.
OL: Brandon Washington (OG), James Brown (OG), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Zebrie Sanders (OT) – If they haven\’t gone Oline yet then definitely one of these 4.
NT: Josh Chapman – An alternative to Martin, more of a sure thing, but less potential.
DE: Derek Wolfe – An option if they want to replace Ziggy, but it’s hard to waste a 3rd on that.
OLB: Cam Johnson – Only an option if they like the later round NTs.
RB: Isaiah Pead, LaMichael James – Both would be a value pick, both would compliment Redman and could mean the end of Mendenhall.
DB: George Iloka (FS), Brandon Taylor (SS), Casey Hayward (DB) – Probably only an option if they have 2 lineman drafted.
TE: Ladarius Green – Very unlikely.
WR: Juron Criner, Gregory Childs – Highly unlikely.
4.24 ) Nate Potter (OT, Boise State)
Analysis: That\’s right, another lineman. I think they will address the meat and potatoes positions with several mid round picks. Mitchell Schwartz would be a value pick to drop at this spot, but I think a team needs to be sold on him at the next level. I think they could grab local standout Lucas Nix in the next round, but if Sanders is available here you fist pump and take him.
RB: Robert Turbin, Chris Rainey – An alternative way to help the offense.
OL: Senio Kelemete – If Potter is gone and they like him.
ILB: James-Michael Johnson – A high possibility, but nothing different then Sylvester.
S: Trenton Robinson (FS), Antonio Allen (SS) – Robinson has received a lot of attention, watch out.
TE: Michael Egnew – A very cheap man\’s Fleener.
Other: Marcus Forston (DE) and Marvin McNutt (WR)
5.24 ) T.Y. Hilton (WR, Florida Int)
Analysis: You address the crazy situation at WR not with another mouth to feed but with a guy who can fill the return role vacated by Antonio Brown’s increase in reps. Helps out on special teams.
Lucas Nix (OG), Hebron Fangupo (NT), DeQuan Menzie (CB, Alabama), Audie Cole (ILB), Dan Herron (RB), Matt Reynolds (OT), B.J. Coleman (QB)
6.23 ) Keith Tandy (CB, West Virginia)
Analysis: Assuming Cortez Allen is ready to take the next step, you still want a little insurance at the position. They could use a few special teamers to fill voids as well.
Akiem Hicks (DE), Olivier Vernon (OLB), Chase Ford (TE)
7.24 ) Austin Davis (QB, Southern Miss)
7.33 ) Drake Dunsmore (TE, Northwestern)
7.39 ) Toney Clemons (WR, Colorado)
7.41 ) Drew Butler (P, Georgia)
Analysis: These “garbage” picks are where they go digging for gems. I think you give a kicker or a punter a chance to show off. I think adding a receiver with some size would be the way to go in trying to find this year’s Brown. You give David Johnson a heart attack by drafting a hybrid TE/FB that’s more athletic and a better blocker. Finally, I think you need a young arm around camp to at least try and compete. Though they have 2 QBs on futures contracts, I think they may want another guy in the mix.
Nicolas Jean-Baptiste (NT, Baylor), Frank Alexander (DE, Oklahoma), Marcel Jones (OT, Nebraska), Justin Anderson (OT, Georgia), Andrew Datko (OT, Florida State), Coty Sensebaugh (CB, Clemson), Terrence Frederick (CB, Texas A&M), Josh Chichester (TE, Louisville), Jerrell Harris (OLB, Alabama)