The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to select Alabama middle linebacker Dont'a Hightower in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, according to SB Nation's 2012 NFL Mock Draft.
"I'm still amazed that the Eagles could do what they did in free agency last year and completely ignore a gaping hole at linebacker. With Hightower they get a beast who can prevent opponents from continually racking up 150 rushing yards every week."
Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline notes that there are questions about whether Hightower provides the appropriate effort on every snap, but believes Hightower still "offers immediate starting potential in the NFL."
"Hightower is a forceful linebacker who dominates the action. He abuses blockers on his way to the ball-carrier and shows a nose for making plays behind the line of scrimmage. He's more of a run defender, but Hightower also displays ability covering the pass in the box. He doesn't always play at full speed, which is a concern, but at the top of his game Hightower offers immediate starting potential in the NFL."