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Steelers would be stacked if Mel Kiper was right

The Steelers would have excellent offensive and defensive lines if only ESPN's Mel Kiper was accurate with his mock drafts.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

ESPN's Mel Kiper is the most popular read during draft season. Odds are good you don't like Mel Kiper - maybe it's the hair, or maybe it's his decision to send Louis Nix III (remember him?) to Pittsburgh in the first round last year.

You may think twice if you consider this.

Philly Voice writer Jimmy Kempski (an excellent read and follow) put together a list of every team's first round picks over the last four drafts had Kiper's mock draft been 100 percent accurate. With it, the Steelers would have probably the best pair of tackles in the NFL, as well as a dominant defensive line.

Ignoring Nix, of course.

Kiper sent Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga to Pittsburgh in 2010, and he's shown himself to be a solid, if not injury-prone, tackle through four years in Green Bay (he's poised to hit free agency in March). After that, it's Tyron Smith, at worst one of the three best offensive tackles in the game. In 2012, the Steelers would have picked up Dontari Poe, the uber-athletic defensive tackle whom you most recently saw in the Pro Bowl sporting the gear of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers would stick with the defensive line in 2013 by selecting Ziggy Ansah, a rising force in the league.

That's four pretty outstanding picks. And Nix.

Removing their picks - Maurkice Pouncey, Cameron Heyward, David DeCastro, Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier - the Steelers would look different, to put it mildly.


Bulaga, when healthy, is a solid player who would have filled in well on the right side of the Steelers' offensive line. Smith would probably already be the best Steelers left tackle ever. The development of Poe and Ansah would be exciting, and perhaps with a multiple defensive front, Nix could fill in well on run downs (painting a good face here).

Three of those players - Smith, Ansah and Poe - all went higher than where the Steelers ended up drafting. All but Nix were first round picks.

Maybe that Kiper's not so bad.