After many experts forecasted the Steelers going after a nose tackle early in the 2012 draft, the Steelers waited until the 4th round to select a defensive lineman, choosing Washington’s Alameda Ta’amu. He’s 6’3″, 330 pounds and projects to be a massive, run stopping nose tackle a la Casey Hampton.
The Steelers actually traded up 10 spots to get Ta’amu, which speaks to how highly they thought of him. Pittsburgh swapped 4th round picks with Washington, giving them a 6th round pick as well.
Ta’Amu had 30 tackles and four sacks during his senior year with the Huskies and was an honorable mention All Pac-12 selection.
Ta’amu will need plenty of seasoning, but he has all of the physical tools to become a starter in the NFL.
I think waiting until this point in the draft to select a nose tackle is a wise decision. With more and more teams becoming pass-happy, the role of the massive, space-eating nose tackle is simply not as important anymore.
I mentioned yesterday that the Steelers have gotten a lot younger and more athletic on the offensive line the last few years. The same is now true for their defensive counterpart with Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward and now Ta’amu all wearing black and gold.