David DeCastro

Draft Grades: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers take the smart, patient approach to the draft almost every year and it is one of the key reasons why they are perennial contenders. While other teams reach to fill needs, the Steelers sit back and wait for someone to fall into their lap.

This year was no different as the Steelers landed David DeCastro, who will step into an immediate starting role and should be a key piece to their offensive line for the next decade.

Mike Adams was a calculated risk in the 2nd round. He’s had a number of off-field issues, including a failed drug test at the combine, and on the field often looks lazy and disinterested. But the Steelers did their homework on Adams and apparently feel comfortable bringing him aboard. He perfectly fits the mold of the type of lineman they like, so if they can keep him motivated, he’ll be a steal.

I was surprised by the selection of Sean Spence because I’m not sure how he fits into the scheme in Pittsburgh. He’s sort of a strong safety/linebacker ‘tweener, which made him an ideal fit at weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense. But in Pittsburgh he’ll be forced to play inside. I have a hard time envisioning him as anything more than a special teams guy in Pittsburgh.

Alameda Ta’amu is another prospect who perfectly fits the Steelers scheme, but also comes with a lot of questions. Ta’amu is an elite talent, but can’t stay in football shape. He’s battled weight issues since high school and it’s tough to break those habits once you’ve reached this level.

Chris Rainey is an explosive offensive weapon. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers use him because they really haven’t had a player with his skill set in the Roethlisberger era.

Toney Clemons has the size the Steelers need at receiver, but he’s a longshot to make the final roster cuts.

I really like David Paulson but he’ll have a tough time finding a job in Pittsburgh. He’s a good fit for their offensive scheme, but Heath Miller and Leonard Pope already have two roster spots locked up. He’ll compete with Weslye Saunders for a job, but there’s no guarantee that either makes the final cuts.

Terrence Frederick will compete for a backup job with Cortez Allen, Walter McFadden and others.

Kelvin Beachum is a versatile lineman, which could help him earn one of the final spots on the offensive line. His upside may be limited, but he could carve out a career as a backup.

Overall, this was a fairly strong draft for the Steelers. They only landed one guy who projects as a guaranteed future starter (DeCastro), but Adams and Ta’amu have the upside to potentially develop into steals down the road.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Steelers 1 Comment

1st Round Winners: Pittsburgh Steelers

This is exactly why the Pittsburgh Steelers are perennial contenders. They sit back, let everyone else around them panic and then take the best available player who falls into their lap.

The Steelers probably didn’t anticipate addressing their interior offensive line in the 1st round, but when David DeCastro was on the board, they simply couldn’t pass him up. DeCastro will immediately step into a starting role, likely at right guard, and help solidify an offensive line that needed a boost.

This move looks particularly strong since it immediately followed two division rivals, the Browns and Bengals, who reached to fill needs and who both would have been better off selecting DeCastro.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Steelers Comments Off

Pittsburgh Steelers select David DeCastro, Grade A

This is why the Pittsburgh Steelers are consistently among the elite teams in the NFL. They’re patient on draft day, and never out-think themselves. They probably didn’t expect to come away with David DeCastro in this draft, but he was simply too good to pass up here. It’s a great value pick and also fills a glaring hole on the offensive line.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Buccaneers 1 Comment

David DeCastro scouting report

David DeCastro OG Stanford #52
Ht: 6’5″

Wt: 315

 
Strengths:
Elite size and strength. Dominant run blocker; does a great job staying low and using good leverage. Decent athleticism for an interior lineman; capable of getting to the second level. Well respected by teammates and coaches. Excellent work ethic. Three-year starter with plenty of experience. Has the skills necessary to play in any blocking scheme.
Weaknesses:
Adequate in pass protection, but is sort of a bend-but-don’t break blocker; gets knocked back relatively often, but continues to fight.
Comments:
DeCastro is an elite prospect, with the size, strength and mobility to play in any scheme. He is much better as a run blocker, but generally holds his ground in pass protection. He may struggle with some of the elite interior pass rushers at the next level at first, but as he continues to develop his strength and technique he should become one of the league’s top interior offensive linemen.
Videos:
2011 vs UCLA
2011 vs Notre Dame 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off