The Pittsburgh Steelers hit the mother load in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft when David DeCastro fell to them at the 24th spot. Nobody thought he’d fall this far, in fact many experts felt he was a top 10-15 pick. No question about it he is the best OG in this draft, exactly what the Steelers needed to help protect Ben Roethlisberger. He joins Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert as recent high draft choices that the Steelers have brought in to rebuild their offensive line.
We can thank the Patrios for making that trade with the Bengals at 21 and the Browns taking yet another QB in Weeden. That opened up the door for DeCastro to fall right into the Steelers lap. All the hype surrounding ILB Dont’a Hightower was silenced when DeCastro’s name was called. According to our friend Chuck Finder at CBS Sports, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said it was an easy decision.
@CBSSportsNFLPIT: Colbert said that when their turn came, DeCastro was a no-brainer
DeCastro is an old school type of player, exactly what the Steelers love. Strong, physical, good feet to pull, and football smart. Offensive Line in general is arguably the biggest need of the team heading into this draft and they took a big step in the continued rebuilding process of that group with this pick. You can pencil him in as a starter at Guard on day one. According to Colbert, they see DeCastro as a RG.
From a fan perspective, I love this pick, the football guys answered my prayers tonight in round 1! Another step towards keeping Big Ben’s jersey a bit cleaner in the future.
1st Round, 24th Pick David DeCastro – 6’5″ 316 lbs.
DeCastro is an extremely polished guard out of Stanford who started for three consecutive years. While he is considered an early entry junior, he spent four years at Stanford and has already graduated. He is a disciplined and NFL-ready player who likely will warrant a starting spot immediately through his play. He could be one of the highest draft picks at the guard position in recent years, and he could easily go in the top 10.
DeCastro is a technician on the field and is beautiful to watch for those who respect offensive line play. He is very quick off the ball to get into his block. DeCastro is able to shuffle nicely to avoid trash when pulling or down blocking. Once engaged, he is very strong to his ground. He demonstrates a good snap upon contact with defenders and is usually the one providing the drive-back pressure on his man. Once locked on his man, he can drive and maneuver them at will using his very strong upper body. DeCastro is extremely controlled in his movements, and he has body control and overall balance that is rare for a man his size. DeCastro is very athletic on the move and can key in and adjust well on his moving target. It’s nearly impossible to find many weak points in DeCastro’s play throughout college, and he could easily be the best lineman on his team as a rookie.
DeCastro is inconsistent when finishing run blocks downfield. There were times in 2011 when he would fall off his blocks at times — although never an effort issue, there are some slight hitches in his bending and footwork downfield that cause him to fall off slightly. He is not a violent puncher with his hands, but he doesn’t necessarily need to acquire that trait because he is such a technician.