With the 2012 NFL Draft about two weeks away, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot to think about when it comes to who they are going to draft with their 24th overall pick in the first round. Recently, Rant Sports posted its Rant Sports 2012 Mock NFL Draft, and Brandon Bonsell has the Steelers selecting University of Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower in the first round. Hightower is one of the best linebackers in the draft, and will definitely fill a much-needed role on Pittsburgh’s defense, but I think that the offensive line requires more attention.
On the most resent predictions by analysts Albert Breer, Chad Reuter, Brian Baldinger, and Bucky Brooks on www.nfl.com, Breer has the Steelers selecting defensive tackle Devon Still from Penn State. Reuter thinks that offensive tackle Mike Adams from the Ohio State University will go to the Steel City, and both Baldinger and Brooks predict that Hightower will be Pittsburgh’s man in the first round.
The Steeler’s o-line surrendered 42 sacks in the 2011 regular season. If Pittsburgh wants to have a fighting chance to contend for the AFC North title this coming season, protecting the face of the franchise, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, should be top priority.
After looking at who was available after the first 23 picks in Rant Sports’ mock draft, I predict that the Steelers will select offensive tackle Cordy Glenn out of the University of Georgia. Previously, I had Adams going at number 24, but after recording only 19 reps on the bench press at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, I feel that Adams may slip down the draft board, showing his lack of strength. In addition, the suspension that he had for violating team rules at Ohio State could work against him as well.
The 6’5”, 345 pound Glenn is a versatile offensive linemen that can play guard as well as tackle. This versatility would add much needed depth to the Steelers’ offensive line.
Here’s the analysis of Glenn according to www.nfl.com:
“Glenn is an athletic big man who is fluid when pulling and gets upfield with ease. He is an effective mirror blocker who shows good technique by sitting into his base and controlling defenders. He is aware of stunts and blitzes and usually picks them up with ease. He is a big body who has been a durable starter for Georgia.”
Adding Glenn to the o-line will not only solidify protection for Big Ben, but it will also help a running game that has a huge question mark due to the uncertainty of running back Rashard Mendenhall’s recovery from reconstructive surgery of his ACL.
Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller