Sometimes it pays to be patient and it clearly did for the Pittsburgh Steelers last night as the best offensive guard prospect in the National Football League Draft fell in their lap at number 24. David DeCastro from Stanford is now a Pittsburgh Steeler and is exactly what this team needed. If you were at all surprised by the fact he was still there then join the club. Head Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert were as surprised as you were. “We didn’t think David would be there at 24 quite honestly. We valued him that high,” said Colbert.
DeCastro is an immediate upgrade at guard and takes the offensive line from average to pretty damn good in a hurry. While he played right guard in college for the Cardinal, it appears he could be moved to the left for the Steelers but that’s to be determined later. For now, just him being on the offensive line is enough to make the Steeler Nation erupt with applause for the selection.
Twitter was on fire last evening as DeCastro continued drop as teams ahead of the Steelers made just enough odd selections for it to happen (Cleveland, Seattle, I’m looking at you). While many wanted Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower, the thought of rebuilding the suspect offensive line was just too much for anyone to be disappointed in the pick. DeCastro was a dream in this draft. Most mock drafts had him going in the top 20 if not the top 15.
Perhaps the greatest part about the drafting of DeCastro is that the Steelers didn’t have to trade anything to get him. GM Colbert said DeCastro was one of a handful of guys they were willing to move up to get but saw no need to as the draft unfolded.
Now, with their remaining selections, the Steelers are in prime position to address several other needs including linebacker, defensive line and yes, the offensive line is still an issue. There are still some excellent players available that can make immediate impacts for the Steelers. Don’t be surprised to see the Steelers move up to grab one of these guys, especially if another offensive lineman should fall in the second round. There are several offensive linemen that could be there in the second round including Amini Silatolu from Midwestern State, Kelechi Osemle of Iowa State or perhaps even tackle Mike Adams of Ohio State. Adams’ stock is still falling after reports of a positive marijuana test from the combine so he is a long-shot but you never know.
Mike Tomlin however, does have a history of going after linebackers since his hiring several years ago. Utah State outside linebacker Bobby Wagner figures to be available and perhaps Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David too.
Possible defensive line candidates include Alameda Ta’amu of Washington or Devon Still of Penn State. You certainly can’t overlook the secondary either, but with both the cornerback and safety positions being rather weak in this draft I’m not so sure.
Regardless of what direction the Steelers go in the remaining six rounds, the drafting of David DeCastro has the potential to be one of the truly great first round selections of the last 20 years. If you find yourself not overly thrilled with the selection of a guard in the first round then may I remind of just how hobbled our quarterback was at the end of last year?
This is a great selection.