Found December 13, 2012 on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
First Round: David DeCastro, OG Steeler Nation was ecstatic when DeCastro fell to the Steelers at number 24. He was projected as the best offensive guard in the draft and compared to former Steeler great Alan Faneca. DeCastro’s big strength is his ability to pull and block in the run game. He was expected to help improve a run game that hadn’t been dominate since they lost Faneca (among others). DeCastro came on during training camp and the pre-season and won the starting right tackle job. However, he never made it to the regular season. In the Steelers final pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills DeCastro suffered a major knee injury that has held him out for the first 14 games of the 2012 season. Finally healthy, and with many other injuries plaguing the offensive line, the Steelers are hoping that DeCastro can provide a boost to the running game. Ramon Foster, the current right guard, will move to the left side to replace the injured Willie Colon. That means the Steelers will start two rookies on the right side of their line in DeCastro and Kelvin Beachum on Sunday. Heading into the future DeCastro is expected to pair with Maurkice Pouncey to make a strong interior line combination for the Steelers and help re-build what once was a strong Steelers running attack. Second Round: Mike Adams, OT With their second pick the Steelers took a chance on offensive tackle Mike Adams. Adams had some off-field issues including a positive drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine. However, as a lifelong Steeler fan Adams made a point in making a personal visit to the Steelers facilities. He talked with the coaches and asked for them to give him a chance. In the second round the Steelers decided to do just that. During training camp Adams was expected to battle for the starting left tackle spot. However, injuries and inexperience lost him the job to veteran tackle Max Starks. Adams is expected to be the starting right or left tackle for the Steelers for many years to come. When Marcus Gilbert went down injured Adams was thrown into the fire at right tackle. As the starting right tackle Adams played well until an ankle injury knocked him out of the starting lineup. Injuries have been commonplace for the entire 2012 draft class. Third Round: Sean Spence, LB In the third round the Steelers selected linebacker Sean Spence of Miami. Spence was expected to play on special teams and see some playing time on defense at middle linebacker. However, a major knee injury including a torn ACL ended Spence’s rookie season before it even began. Spence is expected to be a starter on the defensive side of the ball at some point. Some analysts have speculated that he could move to safety and replace Troy Polamalu or he could line-up next to Lawrence Timmons at middle linebacker. Either way Spence has the speed and instincts to be a defensive play-maker. Fourth Round: Alameda Ta’amu, NT Ta’amu was considered a steal in the fourth round. He was one of only a few true nose tackle prospects in the 2012 draft. However, a poor training camp left him as the third man on the depth chart. Much more was expected of Ta’amu during the off-season, but there was still optimism that he could be the nose tackle of the future with Casey Hampton likely to be gone following the season. In mid-October, however, Ta’amu was arrested on multiple charges including DUI. He is possibly facing jail time and is currently on the Steelers practice squad after being waived by the team in November. Fifth Round: Chris Rainey, RB Rainey was a surprise pick for the Steelers. He is a childhood friend of Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey, but projected as a third down back. The Steelers were excited to see what Baron Batch could do in his second season (after missing his rookie season with an ACL tear), but Rainey forced Batch off the roster a few weeks ago (he is back now to replace the suspended Mendennhall) and has taken most of his snaps. Rainey has battled a few minor injuries this season and has not been as big of an impact as some expected. His return abilities have been good though and he has had some nice returns including a few returns for touchdown (including two in the pre-season) that were called back due to penalty. Rainey is projected to be the Steelers return man and third down back of the future. He also has the skills necessary to play some wide receiver and has break-away speed that makes him a threat anytime he touches the ball. Seventh Round: Toney Clemons, WR Clemons was expected to be the Steelers fifth receiver, but performed so poorly that the Steelers carried only four receivers on the roster. He was on the Steelers practice squad for a while, but was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and is no longer with the team. Seventh Round: David Paulson, TE David Paulson won the second string tight end position during training camp over, free agent signing, Leonard Pope. Paulson has seen a lot of playing time as a blocker along the line or in the backfield and has caught 7 passes for 51 yards this season. Mike Tomlin is very excited about what Paulson can do and he may be more involved in the passing game as things move forward. Seventh Round: Terrence Frederick, CB Frederick couldn’t beat out undrafted rookie free agent Rob Golden during training camp and was cut. He is a member of the New York Giants practice squad. Seventh Round: Kelvin Beachum, OG Beachum started every game for four straight years at SMU. According to Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert Beachum is expected to be able to play all five offensive line positions. He has made two starts this season at right tackle for the Steelers and has played well. The Steelers decided to keep Beachum over long-time utility man Trai Essex. Beachum may be an Essex type, being able to play all five positions on the line, but has more potential to become a solid player and maybe even a starter than Essex.   As you can see of the Steelers nine draft picks only seven are still with the team. Of those seven only four have played for the team during the 2012 regular season to this point. Also, only Beachum and Paulson, two of the Steelers four seventh round selections, have avoided injury. With DeCastro set to start his first NFL game this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys he will look to turn things around for the Steelers 2012 Draft class. The post Steelers First Round Pick David DeCastro Set to Start Sunday; Looks to Turn Around Season for 2012 Draft-Class appeared first on SteelBlitz.
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