Thursday, April 26, 2012

Steelers Select David DeCastro

The NFL draft was tonight in case you forgot (I did until a couple days ago) and the Steelers won in a big way. Generally picking late in the draft you aren't going to get that flashy play maker but picking that low means that you are having a successful season so I can more than deal with that. Tonight they got some unreal luck and had Stanford guard David DeCastro fall to them at the 24 spot.

DeCastro was considered a junior in the draft but he had already graduated from Stanford and really it's amazing that he fell this far. If you were looking at mock drafts like I was most of them had DeCastro gone in the top-15 and some of them even had him as a top-10 pick. For him to drop all the way to 24 is really great and the Steelers must have been stunned to see him still on the board.

DeCastro is listed as 6'5 and 316 pounds but he has really good feet and a really solid center of gravity. His strengths are many as he is a very good run blocker and is also very proficient in pass blocking. Rather than me try to tell you what he does here is the breakdown from on DeCastro:

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.

I don't know about you but it seems like the weaknesses are few and far between and the strengths are all there. Really great to see him fall to the Steelers and you should be amazingly happy that he is there. He will be an immediate help and will fit nicely in an offensive line with youngsters like Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert the line will be instantly better. The real key to DeCastro that a lot of people bring up is that he has a real mean streak. People in Pittsburgh like that kind of player. He will be very good in Black and Gold.

What was really awesome is the amount of good talents that were still on the board when the Steelers picked. Dont'a Hightower was still on the board when the Steelers went and he was scooped up by the Patriots right after Pittsburgh made the DeCastro pick. While I LOVE the pick of DeCastro there still is a hole in the defense that needs to be filled but that can be figured out later. The defense is old and could really use Hightower but the Steelers would have been foolish to pass up DeCastro.

Should be an interesting day tomorrow to see what the Steelers do, but with the talent on the board still I would like to see them move up in the second round, but I say that every year.

Some video of DeCastro:

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