Dontari Poe runs the cones. Can he fill Big Snack's shoes? Better yet, his helmet? Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Who Should Steelers Take In First Round of 2012 Draft?

Today was the last day of the combine, and all the numbers are in.  There’s been surprises, and there’s been some let downs.  Three consistent names have floated around the Steelers camp since the offseason began and we all started to contemplate ‘The Draft.’  Cordy Glenn, Dontari Poe, and Dont’a Hightower.  All different skill positions, all needs for the Steelers.  So who’s it going to be if all three are around by pick #24?

Cordy Glenn, OG

40 time – 5.15

Reps – 31

Vertical – 23.5

Broad – 93

3-cone – 8.13

Shuttle – 5.0

Glenn has impressed with his agility.  Glenn has certainly made a case that he can perform at tackle at the NFL level.  I stated before that the advantage he would have being with the Steelers is he can be a floater on the line early on in his career.  As we know, our linemen tend to get injured early and often for some bizarre reason.  Having Glenn in the lineup as someone who could play the outside as well as the inside would be invaluable to this team.  Glenn’s performance today turned some heads.  Hopefully, not too many before the Steelers can nab him in the first round.

Dontari Poe, NT

40 time – 4.98

Reps – 44

Vertical – 29.5

Broad – 105.0

3-cone – 7.90

Shuttle – 4.56

Like Hampton, Poe will draw double teams all day with his size.  He has good hands, which will be handy (pun intended?) as he tries to work his way around blocks or clog up lanes.  As is the biggest strength needed with a Steelers NT is the ability to fill a lane and force the ball carrier to go another route, or allow the LB’s to get through a different lane.  Analyses have his agility as a weakness because he could never play the edge in a 3-4.  So what?  The Steelers would never need him for that.

Dont’a Hightower, LB

40 time – 4.68

Reps – Not Available from

Vertical – 32.0

Broad – Not Available

3-cone – Not Available

Shuttle – Not Available

Dont’a has good arms and uses great angles of attack to tackle the ball carrier.  He’s played in a 3-4 his whole college career and is the closest defender you could have to be just about ready to start in a Dick LeBeau defense.  Dont’a posses strengths that will be a nice counterpart to Timmons.  Timmons good against man, bad in zone.  Hightower good in zone, bad against man.  He’s played on the end before.  The Steelers love players who can fill multiple roles due to other injured players.  Timmons did very well with Harrison out during his eye injury.  Hightower has the same potential to ‘fill in’ on the outside.

Three good players.  All in danger of going early (by early I mean within the first two rounds).  The Steelers have need at NT, OG, and LB.  Hard to tell what position is in more dire need.  I personally think that the Steelers should go guard then linebacker then defensive line.

Who should the Steelers take in the first round of the 2012 draft?

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  • SonnyDrysdale

    Don’t draft guards in the  first  round,, Poe is a workout warrior   only and  any  defender  from  Bama  in the first and  you can’t go wrong

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  • daddeeekip

     @SonnyDrysdale Will say if he is a elite prospect then you always take that player and he is the 2nd best guard and very close to DeCastro. But do want to take Hightower or even Barron before Poe.

  • DomDiTolla

     @SonnyDrysdale Poe needs the same amount of time to develop (year or two) as guys like Ta’amu and Jean-Baptiste (who can be had in Rounds 2-4), and as I alluded to last week, there are plenty of solid Guards to take in Rounds 2-5.  Poe could develop into a monster, but his draft range should be 20-40, not 10-15 like it will end up being.  Some team will likely over-draft him and expect results right away as opposed to letting him develop.
    Agree with you on the Hightower front totally.  Finding seasoned 3-4 ILB’s in college with Hightower’s skill set and football I.Q. is almost impossible.  Nick Saban and the rest of their staff run a pro-style 3-4, which greatly benefits the players that come out of that system when they transition to the N.F.L.
    If he’s there at #24 the Steelers should strongly consider taking him, and I would personally be thrilled.  But as I discussed in my post today, the Steelers could really benefit from trading down in the event that Hightower isn’t there.

  • daddeeekip

     @DomDiTolla  @SonnyDrysdale 
    I am all in for trading back if we can get a early 2nd round pick(s) but would not discount Barron. His circumstances are the same as Health Miller hurt during the combine but still was drafted by the Steelers and is a very solid pick.

  • ETM

    I like the idea of getting a good powerful Offensive Linemen. Cordy Glenn would be a good addition. At the same time I cant ignore Poe great physical power inside on the defensive side. Id go with Poe if they are both there.

  • daddeeekip

     @ETM Poe IMHO is a combine warrior which every year there is one. Yes it does make one wonder if this kid is this good. Would have to see film and it makes you wonder why he didn’t dominate at Memphis. Like last year Nick Farley dominated all year and lived up to the hype.I am not sold on him would rather have Glenn, Hightower or Barron at this point. Besides with the combine and his pro day another team will grab him up and the Steelers won’t have a chance at him unless they trade up for him and definitely not in favor of that.

  • DomDiTolla

     @daddeeekip I wouldn’t mind if the Steelers went after Barron at all.  However, I do question if he will still be on the board at #24.  Cincy could be looking Safety with one of their 1st Rounders (if they don’t go after Richardson) and so could Detroit.  Plus I wouldn’t discount a Safety needy team like Green Bay or Denver trading up to get him as well.
    As I stated before, guys that have experience in a 3-4 pro style Defense are at such an advantage mentally over those in college that have to transition from a 4-3.  They understand the small nuances of how to play their position within the Defense, and learning under Nick Saban and his staff while competing in the SEC doesn’t hurt either. 
    I’m on board if the Steelers decide to go with Barron.

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  • daddeeekip

     @DomDiTolla Well the one thing we have in our favor is he may not be able to work out on his pro day because of a hernia surgery. So he may fall to us like Heath Miller when he didn,t work out.

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