2012 NFL Draft Round 1: Pittsburgh Steelers Draft G David DeCastro With 24th Pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers received a gift Thursday night and selected Stanford guard David DeCastro with the 24th pick of the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.

DeCastro weighed in at the NFL combine at 6047 and weighed 313 pounds. He has 32 3/4 inch arms to go along with 10 inch hands and a 79 1/8 inch wingspan. He also has just 17.3% body fat according to the scouting report.

DeCastro ran a 5.43 in the 40-yard dash and had a 1.79 10 yard dash time and a 2.96 20 yard dash time. He ran a 4.56 20-yard shuttle, a 7.33 three-cone drill and a 29 1/2-inch vertical jump. He bench pressed 225 pounds 34 times.

Decastro was the first guard off the board in an unusual first round of the draft that featured several trades.

Scouting report via Dave-Te Thomas & Scouting Services & reprinted with permission.

While most regard offensive tackle as the “glamor” position among front wall performers, many talent evaluators feel than an offensive guard – David DeCastro, might be the best blocker among 2012 NFL Draft eligibles. A high intensity type with excellent balance and a strong base, the junior did everything that he could at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine to impress upon teams that he can be an equally dominant player at the next level. Based on the smiles emanating from those that viewed his workout, you can say that it was “mission accomplished” by the Cardinal lineman.

Most professional scouts regard DeCastro as the best interior offensive line prospect they have evaluated, outside of Maurkice Pouncey, since the turn of the century. Coming from Stanford\’s pro-style blocking schemes in which he shows good base strength, feet and athletic ability to go along with a physical, aggressive temperament, DeCastro does a classic job of placing his hands inside and is strong enough to control multiple defenders.

As a trap blocker, DeCastro uses his long arms and hand punch to extends, lock on and gain leverage, doing a nice job of shuffling his feet to mirror when picking up edge rushers or blitzers attacking from the backside. He fires out of his stance low and with excellent explosion to generate movement for what has become a very effective Stanford ground game.

Few linemen possess the mobility and body control to pull and lead through the hole as quick as DeCastro has displayed. While he might occasionally duck his head at times, he has the knee bend and low pad level needed to be a physical force in an offensive power scheme, along with the ability to get into the second level instantly, where he has had tremendous success neutralizing linebackers on traps and pulls.

Stanford head coach David Shaw might be DeCastro’s “biggest fan,” as he has not only enjoyed his performance on the field, but also the tenacity he brings coming out of the huddle, in practices and even in the locker room, where the junior is a “man among boys.”
Shaw joked that the quiet DeCastro “arrived in a bad mood” and had not changed. “David speaks when something needs to be said,” Shaw said. “When he speaks, you better listen.”

Quarterback Andrew Luck unleashes his trademark goofy laugh when recalling that DeCastro often will not reciprocate high-fives in practice and that his on-field intensity carries over to their living quarters, as both were roommates. “He’ll yell at us if we don’t clean up,” Luck said before mocking DeCastro’s deep voice. “At first it’s a gentle reminder, then it’s like, ‘Get it done.’ ”

DeCastro is from the Seattle area but his parents are South African and his father and grandfather were rugby stars in that country. His mother, Jennifer DeCastro, said she is over six-feet tall and took partial credit for her son’s height, which is a shade under 6:05. But his father, Colin DeCastro, said that David’s penchant for numbers — he is majoring in management science and engineering, and acknowledges he “hates to read” — comes from Jennifer, who has three degrees, including a Ph.D. in audiology from Florida.

David DeCastro never played rugby, but he also did not play football until ninth grade. Still, Colin tried to channel a rugby-like intensity into David while coaching his youth teams. Among the keepsakes that Colin DeCastro has from his rugby career are the loss of two front teeth and a scar from a cut on his right eyebrow that required 19 stitches.
“A lot of the pieces of American football fit into the matrix of rugby,” his father said. “Except that football is more specialized.”

The Bellevue High School prospect was an All-State performer on the offensive line, and ranked third in the nation among centers, according to Scout.com. ESPN rated the line-man as the nation’s seventh-best center, while Rivals.com had him ranked eleventh. Super Prep rated him the third-best overall prospect in the state of Washington, with Scout.com and Rivals.com placing him sixth overall in the state.

The Super Prep All-American added All-State honors and was the recipient of the King County Lineman of the Year Award as a senior. The previous season, he helped lead his team to the state title. He went on to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Game following his senior season. DeCastro also competed in track, throwing shot put, an event where he captured the 2008 Washington State 3A champion with a throw of 59-3. He also won the district (58-4) and the King County 3A League (58-1 ½) titles, as well. The lineman graduated with a 4.06 grade point average.

DeCastro was often mentioned as a poor-man\’s Steve Schilling – a nod to the Michigan player that wore 52 before David at Bellevue High School – but that\’s doing DeCastro a disservice. He has exceptional feet like Schilling, and can run like Schilling – but that\’s where the comparisons end.

DeCastro is more physically overpowering than Schilling, along with being more versatile. His hand quickness could see the Cardinal shift to center one day at the pro level. He\’s smart enough to call all blocking assignments and his body type gives him the ability to play any position on the line. “I\’m intelligent and responsible,” DeCastro noted. “I take care of my assignments. I have quick footwork and am very athletic for my size. I want to improve my upper body strength. It\’s always good to be stronger. I want to improve my agility a bit more too.”

DeCastro signed his national letter-of-intent to attend Stanford on December 7th, 2007. He was also offered scholarships from Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. He arrived on campus, only to red-shirt in 2008. Rather than bide his time, the lineman put in the “extra” hours in Stanford’s renowned training room.

DeCastro’s body transformation was drastic. His weight has jumped from 295 to 315 while his body fat has decreased more than four percent to 17.3. His vertical jump increased a remarkable seven inches to 29 ½. Even though he had yet to play in a college football game, he boasted some of the best strength numbers on the team, as he could bench 225 pounds 35 times, which would have been first among offensive linemen at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.

DeCastro joined Jonathan Martin as the two red-shirt freshman to take over starting jobs on the Stanford front wall in 2009. Lining up at right guard, where he started all thirteen games, DeCastro earned All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention. He delivered 79 knockdowns and seventeen touchdown-resulting blocks (most among the league’s interior linemen) as the Cardinal ranked 11th nationally in rushing (218.23 ypg), 19th in total offense (427.62 ypg) and 11th in scoring (35.46 ypg).

As a sophomore, DeCastro earned All-American second-team honors and was an All-Pac 10 first-team choice while starting all thirteen games at right guard. His blocking consistency grade of 90.15% was the highest ever recorded (since grades were kept in 1985) of any Cardinal lineman in a season. He registered 99 knockdowns with twenty touchdown-resulting blocks, as he led a strong front wall that ranked second in the nation in fewest sacks allowed (six). His pass blocking saw Stanford improve from 70th in the nation (209.38) the previous season to 29th in 2010, averaging 258.69 aerial yards per game.

DeCastro was a near unanimous All-American first-team choice as a senior, in addition to receiving All-Pac 12 Conference first-team recognition. He broke his own school season-record with a 96.88% grade for blocking consistency, the highest mark ever recorded by a conference lineman.

That grade was the result of the right guard delivering 138 knockdowns and 31 touch-down- resulting blocks. Only Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin (33) had more touchdown-resulting blocks by a major college lineman in 2011. Prior to the Cardinal meeting Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, DeCastro announced he was leaving school to enter his name in the 2012 NFL Draft pool.

DeCastro started all 39 games he played in at right offensive guard for the Stanford Cardinal…Finished his stellar career with 316 knockdowns, 68 touchdown-resulting blocks and a blocking consistency grade of 91.63%…His grade of 96.88% in 2011 was the highest mark by any offensive lineman (since consistency grades were kept in 1985) in Pac-12 (10) Conference history.

DeCastro was a first-team All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp, Associated Press, Sporting News, American Football Coaches Association and Football Writers Association…Named National Blocker of the Year by The NFL Draft Report, as DeCastro set the conference season-record with a 96.88% grade for blocking consistency…The All-Pac 12 Conference first-team choice and Outland Trophy finalist registered career-bests with 31 touchdown-resulting blocks (second-highest in the major college ranks) while recording 138 knockdowns…Behind his stellar blocking, the front wall allowed just eleven quarterback sacks, but none were charged to DeCastro, who held his blocking assignments to a nation-low total of fourteen tackles (6 solos), no sacks, no pressures and no stops behind the line of scrimmage…Had at least ten knockdowns in nine games and received a perfect grade for blocking consistency (100%) twice – vs. Colorado and Washington…Stanford\’s 57-3 season-opening victory over San Jose State was the result of DeCastro making three touchdown-resulting blocks and twelve knockdowns, including one that took down three defenders on a 23-yard scoring scamper by Stephan Taylor…Andrew Luck dinked and dunked passes while hiding behind his right guard, but it was the guard’s open field block on linebacker Rob Hankins that led to Taylor’s 49-yard touchdown jaunt in the second quarter, as DeCastro had another three touchdown-resulting blocks and thirteen knockdowns vs. Arizona…Added two touch-down-resulting blocks, including one that upended defensive tackle Conrad Obi on a 1-yard scoring plunge by Taylor, as DeCastro graded 100% vs. Colorado…His second perfect score for the season came behind fourteen knockdowns and a record five touch-down resulting blocks vs. Washington, as the right guard flattened All-Pac 12 defensive tackle Alameda Te’Amu on a 45-yard reverse for a score by receiver Chris Owusu. It also marked the first time that Te’Amu was held to no statistics in a game (spanning 39 contests).

DeCastro was a second-team All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report, as he set a then school season-record with a blocking consistency grade of 90.15% while starting all thirteen games at right guard…Was part of an outstanding offensive line that included first team All-American Chase Beeler, Jonathan Martin and Derek Hall, joining that trio in recdeiving All-Pac 10 Conference accolades…That unit ranked second in the nation in fewest sacks allowed (six), as DeCastro recorded 99 knockdowns and 20 touchdown-resulting blocks…His blocking skills helped pave the way for a Stanford rushing attack to rank 17th in the nation with an average of 213.77 yards and amass the second-highest rushing total (2,779) in school history…One of five players to earn the Frank Rehm Award for outstanding play in the Big Game vs. California, DeCastro also provided stellar pass protection as the Cardinal finished 14th in the nation in total offense (472.46 ypg) and ninth in scoring (40.31 ppg).

DeCastro took over right guard duties, starting every game, as he garnered All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention…Graded 87.72% for blocking consistency, producing seventeen touchdown-resulting blocks for a rushing attack that placed 11th nationally (218.23 ypg)…Added 79 knockdowns as the team averaged 427.62 yards per game in total offense and ranked eleventh in the major college ranks in scoring (35.46 ppg).

Did not see action, retaining freshman eligibility.

No major injuries reported.

DeCastro attended Bellevue (Wash.) High School, playing football for Wolverines head coach Butch Goncharoff…Was an All-State performer on the offensive line, and ranked third in the nation among centers, according to Scout.com…ESPN rated the lineman as the nation’s seventh-best center, while Rivals.com had him ranked eleventh…Super Prep rated him the third-best overall prospect in the state of Washington, with Scout.com and Rivals.com placing him sixth overall in the state…The Super Prep All-American added All-State honors and was the recipient of the King County Lineman of the Year Award as a senior…The previous season, he helped lead his team to the state title…Went on to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Game following his senior season…Also competed in track, throwing shot put, an event where he captured the 2008 Washington State 3A champion with a throw of 59-3…Also won the district (58-4) and the King County 3A League (58-1 ½) titles, as well…The lineman graduated with a 4.06 grade point average.

Management, Science and Engineering…Son of Jennifer and Colin DeCastro…Born 1/11/90…Resides in Bellevue, Washington.

  • S2393007

    Thought we would have to trade up for this guy! Wow, what a pick for the steelers!!!

  • LouPGH

    The first round couldn’t have played out any better for us. So, so happy with this pick.

  • Albeto Flores

    oh hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! woooooooooo wow!!!!!!!!!!

  • SteelersDepot

    Pretty speechless. I have had a LONG time love affair with DD, but never imagined he would be an option here. I could not believe how round 1 unfolded.

    I grade this pick A+++++++++++++++++++++++++

  • Bleebo77

    DeCastro is a RG, so who plays LG? Foster? Having DeCastro fall is a GIFT, but I’ll admit that I’m a little bummed that this might mean no Brandon Brooks. Dave, will you post a re-mock (or at least a Day 2 preview) in light of Round One?

  • SteelersDepot

    Could not hear the presser, but I think DD will be given shot to play LG. We will have to see. I will re-mock, yes.

  • zbluez1

    Draft a tackle in Rd 2, rebuild the line R to L as Colon/Draft-choice, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert, with Essex , Legursky, and Colon/Draft-choice as swing tackle. The last two to three years the Steelers would have killed to be at that talent level on the O-line. I am suddenly really liking Bobbie Massey as a pick in the next two rounds!

  • RockyMountainSteeler

    Looks like the next Faneca that can also play center or tackle if needed. The perfect player for the Steelers as premier players fell through the dust of trade scrambles for QB’s, DB’s and WR’s. Now, maybe trade up in the second with a couple of 7’s and a 4 to get a LT?

  • Albeto Flores

    Amazing pick for the steelers

  • dgh57

    Like everyone else I can’t believe DeCastro lasted to the 24th pick!!! I wanted a O-Lineman in the 1st rd. I guess Tomlin was just blowing hot air when he said they would take a O-Lineman somewhere in the draft!! I HAPPY with the 1st rd. now a NT in the 2nd rd would be nice after all the game is won in the trenches!! GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dave

    Yep, I’ve said before, I would have been fine with making a Polamalu type deal trading up for him…having him fall to 24 is like a dream come true!

    I said in another post, this is what makes the draft so much fun! You never know how it’s going to unfold.

    Depending on how it goes from here, I’d be fine with really solidifying the O-line with an OT in round 2 or 3.

  • Love it.

  • Jason White

    No brainer. Major steal at 24

  • So glad we didn’t have to trade for him. It was getting exciting watching him and Reiff fall.

    Keuchly and Barron were the only two I liked better than Decastro in this draft, with Hightower right behind.

  • TrueSteelerForLife

    Gift from the football gods! I still want Brooks in the second though. After this year Foster and Legursky are free agents plus there is currently no one worthy behind them. No starters in waiting if you know what I mean! Does anybody see Upshaw continuing his drop? And would he be a good steeler in the second? Just wondering. Now it’s time to celebrate our newest Steeler!

  • Cols714

    Well that was pretty great. The OL is now Gilbert, DeCastro, Pouncey, Foster, and Colon. That’s a pretty good OL.
    Now get a LB and NT in the next few rounds.

  • steelerfanmatt1933

    I’m so happy right now! Here We Go, Steelers!

    Dave, I believe Dave-Te’ said he could see the Steelers taking guards in both of the first 2 rounds. I would still love Silatolu or Brooks in the second. Thoughts?

  • Bleebo77

    My head is spinning a bit trying to get a handle on who’s still on the board and who might be there in Round Two and beyond. As always, so much happens that’s unpredictable! Today gives me hope that players will also fall to us in later rounds, or at least we’ll find players within a reasonable striking distance.

    Thinking OL, you’ve got a load of OTs and OGs still out there, some of whom will be there at 2.24. I wonder if an ILB like Kendricks or a DE like Derek Wolfe. OLB like L. David or R. Lewis. Fleener still lives, too! It’s like Christmas!

  • Dave

    Transcript of the presser on steelers.com says he’s a RG but I agree, the LG is more of a need.

  • CW

    Just wow. Never thought DeCastro would even get close to the Steelers to even think about trading up to grab him. Then he just falls into our hands like some kind of gift from the Football Gods. Can’t wait to see Pouncey and DeCastro side by side this fall wrecking other teams.

  • Vocalistwanted

    De Castro is not only the best OG to come through this years draft, but the best OG to come through the draft “in years” they are saying. It is definitely safe to say that De Castro will be the next Allen Faneca, if not better than. He admits he was a big Seahawks fan growing up (being raised near there) but says he is now the biggest Steelers fan ever! Welcome to Steeler Nation De Castro!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Wow…couldnt believe it…I had 3 guys I really wanted but didnt think would fall…Kuechly, Barron ,and DeCastro..and for DeCastro to fall is wild!!!


    I quote John McEnroe here, but with a totally different tone of voice:

    “You cannot be serious!”

  • Akyourasea

    Why not Brooks in 2nd round? NT in third. ILB can wait!

  • PoKey21

    This is an Amazing pick. I was clamoring for the Steelers to trade up and get him from the first mock draft Steeler depot put out. Then I thought it was a mute point because predicting a trade is near impossible, and thought DeCastro would be long gone by 24. I am just ecstatic. Can we please get Tam’mu tomorrow too (No, probably asking too much)!?! That would give us anchors on the O and D lines for a long time to come though. At least there will be no more weak Oline talk in western PA anymore. Pouncey, Gilbert, DeCastro should be Steelers for a long time!

    Also that was a good report. I think a major point that wasnt highlighted was “he has tremendous success neutralizing linebackers on traps and PULLS” The Steelers love to pull the guard, even Arians did it lol. Hopefully Haley will utilize it also.

    Can anyone hear the Steelers/Ravens game now?? The announcers are going to be all over DeCastro and Nagatas Rugby backgrounds. Id bet the over/under for rugby references that game is 6.

    We need a nickname for DeCastro. “The Castrator”, “De-Cleet-Stro”, “Decastro the Defender.” Any other thoughts?


    I say come right back in round 2 with Brandon Brooks and let’s forget about the OLine for awhile. Colon/Starks can handle RT. Then Mike Martin in the 3rd.

  • RockyMountainSteeler

    45 minutes after I posted this, Charley Casserly not only said that he considered this the best value pick of the 1st draft, but he said DeCastro is at a higher level than Alan Faneca was at the same time. Will we see another rookie Pro Bowler?

  • SteelersBall

    Think DD falling to 24 surprised everybody. Looks like BigBen might get to tweak his game by getting sacked a lot less. Here we go Steelers here we go

  • NA

    I would like them to draft Massie or Brandon Brooks in th second.

  • NA

    Draft Brandon Brooks in the second andwe have a LG and an awesom OL!

  • Heathicus

    Amazing pick.

  • PoKey21

    I think the reason why DeCastro fell to us in the first place is because of the abundance of wealth in the 2,3, and 4th rounds for a G or T. Kendricks would be a nice in the 2nd, but i think he will be gone by 48, but obviously stranger things have happened. Im putting my Hope into Alameda Tam’mu tomorrow, the big NT out of Washington.

  • PoKey21

    Rejoice, Celebration Abound, Great Pick in the First Round! This obviously changes a lot of peoples mock drafts. Now that one of the guard positions is filled nicely by DeCastro, where do we go in round 2??? Needs are still NT, ILB, DB, RB. I am Putting my faith in Alameda Tam’mu tomorrow. Anyone else?

  • LabRat0116

    Wow! This dude destroys people off the line! What a helluva pick !!


  • LabRat0116

    “Stanford head coach David Shaw said DeCastro expects players around him to have a heightened focus and work ethic.

    “He arrives angry and focused and expects everybody else to be the same,” Shaw told CBSSports.com

    I love this kids no bullshit allowed attitude !!!

  • Guest

    Gilbert will go to LT (that is what they drafted him for). Colon/future draft pick will be the RT.

  • mokhkw

    RG? Hmmm…maybe Colon to LG is on the books? With Gilbert moving to LT, could that means Starks is re-signed and moved to RT? Gilbert-Colon-Pouncey-DeCastro-Starks has the makings of a good line, something Steeler fans haven’t been able to say for a few years now. Now if we can get Brooks in Rd.2…..:)

    Great Pick by the Steelers.

  • TsarPepe

    Just goes to show how completely useless mock drafts are.

  • LOC

    they can only trade their original 7th, compensatory picks are not allowed…

    and if you follow dvc’s as even a remoted guideline, trading the 4th and 7th would move them up about 6 picks in the 2nd…


  • Frnk Middleton

    I have represented offensive linemen for over 16 years. Guards are overrated. You need a pass rush and good LB’s to be dominant in the NFL. There are plenty of serviceable guards that can get your team to the playoffs. Just go back and look at the final 4 teams for the last 6 years. Lots of low round picks and undfrafted free agents.

    Just the facts

  • The Dude

    i am so glad that the steelers did NOT draft Hightower. they finally realized that it is important to protect their most valuable asset…big ben. I hope i never have to see Legursky on the field again. DeCASTRO WAS A GREAT PICK.

    hopefully we can bring in Brandon Brooks and some sleeper DBs in the next few rounds

  • Wanted the Steelers to trade up as early as 18 to get DeCastro. Absolutely amazing he fell to us at 24!!! Brooks or Silotalu next please!

  • Hello:

    Holy cow!The STEELERS drafted a white dude on their firast pick!I have respect ofr Coach Tomlin!


  • Cody

    Wanted steelers to trade up since about 11th pick for Decastro. Soooo Happy they picked him. Now hoping they grab Brooks in the second and really sure up the O-Line.

  • zbluez1

    Dude, I said R to L, with DeCastro and Gilbert on the left side…but after Tomlin’s comments you could see Foster & Gilbert on the left side, but I believe this won’t be an issue as they worked well together on the right side last year

  • LouPGH

    Good to see you value your clients; I’d hire you.