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Steelers May Draft Linebacker Ravens Covet

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Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dont'a Hightower lines up to run the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dont'a Hightower lines up to run the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The Baltimore Ravens draft in the 29th slot of the 2012 NFL Draft. Many prognosticators think the team will be looking to select the future replacement for inside linebacker Ray Lewis. One of the guys that has drawn the attention of the Ravens is Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower. Not only is Hightower one of the better inside linebackers in the draft, he also comes from Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome's alma mater, which should only make this pick a stronger option.

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers might be in the market for an inside linebacker and if they choose to go after one in the first round, they will have every opportunity to perhaps grab the one coveted by the Ravens, as the Steelers pick 24th overall, five spots ahead of Baltimore. Admittedly, Hightower would also be a great fit with Pittsburgh. A recent story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirms the possibility of the team's interest in Dont'a.

While ILB Lawrence Timmons will only be 26 years old as he enters his 6th NFL season in 2012, James Farrior is 37 years old and would be starting his 16th season in the league. With all the salary cap issues facing the Steelers, saying goodbye to Farrior while welcoming Dont'a Hightower would be a classic example of how teams like the Steelers and Ravens never seem to re-build as so many other teams do, but instead just re-load for another playoff run.