Originally posted on The Football Fan Spot  |  Last updated 4/24/12

Guard


Stanford


6-5 316


Draft board overall prospect rank: #12


Draft board guard rank: #1


Overall rating: 88 (Solid 1st round pick)


40 time: 5.43


Positives


• Phenomenal 2nd level blocker

• Phenomenal 2nd pull blocker

• Excellent technique

• Natural knee bender

• Plays with a wide base

• Powerful

• Great at the point of attack

• Weight room strong (34 reps of 225)

• Good size (6-5 314)

• Dominants guys one on one as a run blocker

• Rarely allowed pressure on the quarterback

• Good feet

• Moves well

• Great hand use

• Excellent run blocker

• Intelligent

• Experienced 3 year starter – started as a freshman

• Great motor

• Hard working

• Leader

• All the intangibles

• Versatility to play center

• Anchored 3 top-20 running games


Negatives


• Doesn’t play a highly valued position

• Not athletic enough to play tackle

• Mediocre 40 time (5.43)

• Short arms (32 3/8 inches, though not a huge issue at guard)

• Didn’t play many good pass rushers


NFL Comparison: Logan Mankins


The way I see this draft class, there are 6 elite talents, regardless of position. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin are the obvious ones, then Matt Kalil at left tackle, Trent Richardson at running back, Luke Kuechly at middle linebacker and… David DeCastro at guard. Guards rarely get drafted high, but DeCastro is in play for the Panthers at 9, Kansas City at 11, Arizona at 13, and Dallas at 14. Any of those spots would make him the highest drafted interior lineman since Chris Naoele in 1997 (10th).


This is rightfully so. He’s one of the cleanest prospects in this draft class and he has next to no weaknesses. He doesn’t have elite athleticism or feet to play tackle, his 40 wasn’t great, he has short arms, and he didn’t play a lot of good pass rushers, and that’s it. And those 4 things are not important really at guard. His main weakness is really his position because of the limited value the position brings.


However, he’s easily the best guard prospect I’ve ever scouted. He’s a phenomenal 2nd level blocker and pull blocker and would be an excellent fit for zone blocking scheme. He’s also got phenomenal strength at the point or attack and can dominate one on one. He’s got elite technique. There’s really not a whole lot wrong with him and so many things are about him are elite. He anchored 3 top-20 running games at Stanford and led the team to close to 500 yards rushing against Washington and Alameda Ta’amu, a 2nd round defensive tackle who DeCastro dominated one on one on every occasion they matched up.


He’s often compared to Steve Hutchinson because he went high in the first and lived up to it, but I think he compares better to Logan Mankins. Mankins went later in the first round, but exceeded his draft spot as a first round guard, very rare. DeCastro is expected to go in the top 14 picks and wouldn’t get past San Diego at 18 at the worst.

 

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