Prisuta's Pick: Call Him Levon

Mike Prisuta has a player in mind -- well, two if we count a certain Florida State guard. Read on.

Here are four names you probably haven't vetted yet that maybe you should have by now:

Vinny Curry, DL, Marshall; Tyrunn Walker, DL, Tulsa; Cordarro Law, DL, Southern Mississippi; and Taylor Thompson, DL, SMU.

Those four comprised the first-team defensive line for the 2011 All-Conference USA squad.

They must be players because all four were deemed superior on the field to Dontari Poe, DL, Memphis, the "genetic freak" that turned the scouting combine on its ear in advance of the upcoming NFL Draft.

Poe did so by running a sub-5.00 40-yard dash (4.87 and 4.94 hand-held, 4.98 official) at 6-foot-31/2 and 346 pounds.

Not bad for a guy who made the second-team defensive line for the 2011 All-Conference USA squad.

The Steelers were less than impressed initially. One member of the organization even privately scoffed at Poe as an example of how far off the mark the combine has wandered from the process of identifying guys who can actually play football. But there's much more across-the-board support for the big guy in the wake of Poe's late-in-the-process, pre-draft visit to the South Side.

He might be long gone by the time the 24th overall selection rolls around on Thursday night. But if he gets anywhere near that neighborhood Poe will be seriously considered.

Poe has been likened to Haloti Ngata by Mike Mayock, among others. Poe might even be viewed by the Steelers as something other than a two-down player given that he zone-dropped into coverage against Southern Mississippi (per Mayock) and that he participated in the DE-OLB conversion drills at the combine.

But the more attractive pick on the first round for the Steelers would still be Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower. You're no doubt well aware of his resume by now. I'll summarize by simply labeling Hightower the next Levon Kirkland.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated has predicted the Ravens are going to trade up and snatch Hightower just ahead of the Steelers. But knowing how tight-lipped Ozzie Newsome always is regarding his draft-day intentions I'm guessing King doesn't really know for certain.

It might yet work out that way, and if it does, good for King, Newsome and the Ravens.

But if it doesn't, it may instead work out that the Steelers will secure a player who, beginning in 2013, should begin about a 10-year run as James Farrior's replacement.

Failing the availability of Hightower or Poe, I'd reluctantly settle for Georgia OL Cordy Glenn and position him to compete for one of the guard spots.

Assuming it's Hightower on Round One, the Steelers can hope for the best and, maybe, get lucky and find Wisconsin OL Kevin Zeitler still available on the second round.

The middle rounds, under such a scenario, might glean the likes of Appalachian State WR Brian Quick (the big receiver they lack), BYU NT Loni Fangupo and Utah OL Tony Bergstrom (another big guard).

Later still, the Steelers could do worse than San Diego State RB Ronnie Hillman (potential third down change-of-pace guy).

The seventh round should include Maine FB Derek Buttles (OC Todd Haley wants one, so get him a fullback) and maybe a few more offensive linemen (just to further the myth that the Steelers really care about their offensive line).

Rutgers OT Desmond Stapleton (Darnell's brother) might be a legacy fit there. He can't play, but neither could Darnell.

Florida State guard David Spurlock can't play, either. But think of the comedic relief, something we'll all be in need of by late Saturday afternoon.

"That was a pretty obvious pick there, wasn't it, Mel?"

"No shit, Spurlock."

And there you have it, more or less.

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