DeCastro is an elite prospect despite being a guard.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have always been a difficult team to project on draft day and trying to predict who they will take in a mock draft is near impossible, as they build their board, then abide by it, regardless out outside opinions.
The Steelers are an organization built on doing things the right way and when it comes to the draft they are no different. When it’s their turn to pick, they take the best player left on their board, simple as that. They aren’t worried about making headlines or a big splash, they’re only concern is adding good football players, something they did again Thursday night in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
While many prognosticators, including myself, had the Steelers taking Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who would have filled in nicely for the departed James Farrior, the draft is not about filling needs, it’s about taking the best player on the board, which is exactly what the Steelers were doing when they selected Stanford guard David DeCastro with the 25th overall pick.
DeCastro may not have been the flashy pick fans sometimes clamor for, but he is a solid pick that will drastically improve the Steelers offensive line in 2012. Yes, guards are not the most valuable players in the NFL, yet DeCastro is far from your average guard. He’s elite and about as clean a prospect as any in this year’s draft.
DeCastro is an outstanding athlete with ideal size at 6’4 316 pounds and strength. He’s a dominant run blocker and is also excels in pass protection. He will start from day one in Pittsburgh and will be a staple along their offensive line for the next decade, likely becoming a perennial pro bowler within a few years time.
In three years at Stanford, DeCastro started 39 games at guard, earning freshmen All-American honors, first-team All Pac-10 honors as a sophomore and was a consensus All-American as a junior.
Therefore, the Steelers drafting of DeCastro should come as a surprise to no one, they simply did what they always do, which is staying true to their board and drafting good, solid football players.