NEW YORK (KDKA) – The third day of the 2012 NFL Draft got underway Saturday morning.
The Steelers began the afternoon by trading up 10 spots in the fourth round to select a possible future replacement to Casey Hampton. They gave up their fourth and sixth round picks to get defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu from the University of Washington.
According to NFL.com, Ta’amu will be best served as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.
The fourth round pick checks in at 6-foot-3 and about 350 pounds. He actually played directly opposite the Steelers’ first round pick, David DeCastro, this past season.
“Anytime in our scheme you get a nose tackle, the first thing you want to make sure [is] that this guy can play the double team, and his job is to keep the linebackers free or the safety free cause when we bring the safety down in the box, if he can’t do that, he’ll have a tough time playing for us,” said John Mitchell, the Steelers defensive line coach.
“He’s done very well at the University of Washington, and if he can keep the linebackers free and make plays from… hey, we’re going to start off from guard to guard, as he gets familiar with the scheme, expand him from tackle to tackle,” Mitchell added. “I think this guy can play a long time and be a pretty good football player.”
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With their next pick, the Steelers took running back Chris Rainey from the Florida Gators in the fifth round. He could see some time as a return man.
This past season, Rainey rushed for 861 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 31 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns. Size could be an issue with Rainey at 5-feet-8-inches tall, but he can make people miss with his speed and agility.
The Steelers traded away that pick in the sixth round, but then had four picks in the seventh round.
First, they selected local kid Toney Clemons from Valley High School in New Kensington. He played receiver at Colorado.
They then took tight end David Paulson from Oregon. Six picks later, it was Terrence Frederick, a corner from Texas A&M. Finally, with the 248th pick of the draft – five shy of being Mr. Irrelevant – the Steelers picked up offensive guard Kelvin Beachum from Southern Methodist.
On Thursday, the Steelers selected DeCastro, a guard out of Stanford, in the first round.
Then on Friday, the Steelers turned heads by taking Ohio State tackle Mike Adams who was wrapped up in the Ohio State scandal with Terrelle Pryor.
He was one of the five Buckeyes caught up in that scandal along with Pryor, which resulted in him being suspended for five games last year.
Adams was caught with drug paraphernalia back in 2009 and he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine in February.
“Well, obviously, you always want the best talent you can get, and adding those guys to the room will give us a talented line, and you play with whoever you have,” said Sean Kugler, the Steelers’ offensive line coach. “And it doesn’t matter to me what round a guy is, I want guys that compete and guys that care about the game, and through our evaluation of both these guys, these are two guys that really like playing football.”
In the third round, the Steelers chose Sean Spence, a linebacker out of Miami.
According to linebackers coach Keith Butler, Spence will back up Lawrence Timmons at inside linebacker.