Sometimes it's easy to forget that the Pittsburgh Steelers draft players; typically—even when I'm in the middle of writing a 2012 NFL Mock Draft—I just assume that everyone on the team is a hard-nosed, exceedingly professional veteran between the ages of 28 and 31 who has been playing in Pittsburgh for five to eight years. I suppose they have to come from somewhere, though, and with the No. 24 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft we have them selecting Dont'a Hightower of Alabama.
That's been a common connection for a few months now—ever since the Steelers released James Farrior—and nothing, even Hightower's slowly sliding draft stock, seems to be standing in its way at the moment. Hightower can stick around for a few years, turn 28, and then I can forget about the Steelers having ever drafted anybody again. Perfect, at least for me.
SB Nation St. Louis's 2012 NFL Mock Draft is moving from No. 1 to 32 in the days leading up the real draft. You can follow along at our draft storystream, or read more mock draft recaps in our mock draft analysis storystream.