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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers select Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with 13th pick

It's not a common thought but one we happen to lean a bit more favorably to in comparison with common picks along the offensive line for the Steelers.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's a Merry Christmas Mock Draft from the folks at SB Nation.

The priorities of the Steelers in this draft seem to change on an hour-to-hour basis, according to SBN. They've previously gone offensive tackle, and now, they're moving over to safety with the selection of Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with the 13th overall pick.

Pittsburgh has one of the oldest secondaries in the league and needs an infusion of youth and talent. Clinton-Dix is overwhelmingly the best safety in the draft next year, capable of dropping in coverage and playing near the line of scrimmage.

And this isn't a terrible idea. H2CD has good size and athleticism, and it will be an area of need both immediately and in the future. The Steelers traded a third round pick in this draft to Cleveland for the opportunity to select Shamarko Thomas, which would give the Steelers two young safeties it could pair in the deep secondary with a goal of getting them both on the field as early as 2015.

Veteran Ryan Clark likely won't be back in Pittsburgh in 2014, and Troy Polamalu could be released or given an extension this offseason. That instability will be figured out before the draft, but placing a priority on shoring up the deep secondary - a critical partnership in Dick LeBeau's defense - could be very beneficial as the team launches into its next generation of defenders.