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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Kansas City Chiefs Could Take Alabama Linebacker Dont'a Hightower

There are only a few spots left on the Kansas City Chiefs defense where the team could look to make a legitimate upgrade heading into the 2012 season. One of those positions is at inside linebacker. While Pro-Bowlers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali hold down two of the positions, and up-and-coming rookie Justin Houston made a name for himself late in the season, it leaves the SILB position possibly in need of an upgrade as former UDFA Jovan Belcher currently holds the position for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs brought in Brandon Siler last year as a free agent from the San Diego Chargers, and he was thought to be the pass-coverage linebacker that could rotate with the run-stuffing Belcher at the 'thumper' position for the Chiefs defense. Siler went down in the preseason with an injury and missed the entire 2011 season, but the Chiefs recently re-signed Siler on a one-year contract. But if they feel the need to find a player that can play all three downs for the defense they might look in the direction of Alabama's Dont'a Hightower. Hightower was a bright spot on a very bright defense for the National Champion Crimson Tide football team that beat LSU 21-0 for the school's ninth national title in school history.

Another positive to Hightower is that Alabama runs a 3/4 defense, and so the learning curve wouldn't be as steep as it might be for other college linebackers who aren't used to the scheme.