2016 Steelers Stock Watch – G David DeCastro – Stock Up

With the 2016 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certainly players.

And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, has sent their stock rising or falling.

Player: G David DeCastro

Stock Value: Up

If you are coming off of your first season of making the first-team All-Pro list and are in line to receive a new contract that will likely pay you tens of millions in guaranteed money, then I think it is probably safe to say that your stock is up—although that is also likely the peak value of your stock as well.

Indeed, Steelers guard David DeCastro is metaphorically on top of the world these days, or at least at the top of his profession. In his fourth season in the league, he cracked the barrier that separates the common starter from the recognized best at the position, first receiving his first Pro Bowl accolade, and later being announced as a first-team All-Pro, joining wide receiver Antonio Brown with both honors last year for Pittsburgh.

A former first-round draft pick during the 2012 NFL Draft, DeCastro was on schedule to be an opening-day starter had he not suffered a torn MCL during the preseason. As a result of the injury, he missed most of his rookie season, returning only to start the final three games, where he looked every bit the part of a rookie coming off a knee injury and stepping in cold against mid-season veterans.

He began his upward trajectory in his first full season in 2013, but still had his struggles, in particular against stronger interior linemen and in pass protection. But he has gradually improved in both areas in terms of functional strength and in rush scheme recognition, which he parlayed into his best, and certainly most consistent, season thus far in 2015.

I will admit that I was a bit surprised to see him awarded with the first-team All-Pro accolade, not to say that it was undeserved. But now that he is in that club, he is likely to repeat as long as he retains a certain level of consistency from this point on in his playing career.

One of the elite pulling guards in the league today, the Steelers liberally exploit his ability to get out in open space on runs to the left after being traditionally a right-hand-dominated running team. Quite frankly, it’s not every player that can single-handedly serve that sort of role in influencing the nature of a team’s play calls. DeCastro is one of those players, and he may still be getting better. He’s certainly going to get a whole lot richer.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Applebite

    But how much would they have to pay DeCastro, if Brown is going to be at least one of the Top 5-10 paid WRs? I think they can and will get it done, but by how much and who will sacrifice for it to happen is a question to ponder. And they still have Bell to consider.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I am President of the David DeCastro Fan Club.

    He was one of the few guys that I wanted us to pick if he was available at 24 in the 2012 NFL Draft. As the top Guard, I thought he may be gone. He was widely projected to go somewhere between K.C. at 11 and Pittsburgh at 24. Looking back, the pick was a very prudent one for us to ultimately make.

    I sat in horror, along with the rest of you, when he went down his Rookie year in the Pre-season. It made me sick to my stomach. However, David showed amazing resiliency and strength, when after injuring both the right ACL and MCL, he refused to give up his season. Instead, he vigorously fought back, and played in 4 games at the end of the season, starting the last 3. He now has started 49 games in a row for us. And that strength I spoke of is measurable. He did a very impressive 34 reps at the combine. And from what I have read, is a formidable foe in the weight room today.

    The 2012 Draft was an example of us getting the better of the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh was widely rumored to be wanting and hoping DeCastro would land right in their laps. We picked at 24. Cincinnati, at 27. There had been smoke screens all week out of Cincy that they were gonna go Defense. My friend that I grew up close to is a Bengal fan. He had a list of 10 guys he wanted at pick 27. 8 were defense and 2 were offense. One of them, David DeCastro. He told me the day of the draft that a lot of the mockers associated closely to Cincy, were all realizing the ruse. Sure enough, after Pittsburgh chose David DeCastro at 24, Cincy panicked, and chose Kevin Zeitler, Guard, at pick 27. Thereby solidifying the notion that they were indeed looking for DeCastro to instead fall right into THEIR laps.

    The DeCastro vs. Zeitler debate will be surprisingly long and able, I suspect. Their pre-draft measurables were strikingly similar. But, DeCastro had the more overall distinguished college career. And was viewed widely as the best Guard prospect, while Zeitler landed around 4th best. But, Zeitler has been a very solid addition for Cincinnati. So the debate may indeed linger.

    Championship teams are often built around the Offensive and Defensive lines. And Pittsburgh has wisely invested multiple and continuous 1st and 2nd rd picks in these departments. DeCastro is an example of a wise and solid pick paying its dividends. And speaking of dividends, I say we pay Mr. DeCastro whatever it takes to keep him here for a very long time, pulling and pancaking people for the black & yellow.

  • In 2012 I was living in California near San Fran, I got to watch a ton of the Stanford game because of it. Watching him play, he had Steelers Guard written all over him, needless to say, I was head over heels for this kid. When the draft came around, I was at the local sports bar, there 2 or 3 other guys in the black and gold, and when DeCastro made it past the Bengals and the Bears, I knew he was the pick. I jumped for joy when they called his name, I told the other Steelers fans there, he would be the next Faneca. I was wrong because Faneca played LG, but DeCastro has been everything for the team I thought he would be.

  • Cincy had 2 picks in the first round that year, they picked a few spots ahead and after us. I remember see a bunch of mocks having DeCastro going to them, and a few with DeCastro going to the Lions who also needed O line help. When the Bengals took Kirkpatrick (I think it was) and the Lions took Reiff (who has been pretty good for them) I knew we were taking DeCastro.

  • Matthew Marczi

    One thing they do have in common is that they both made their first Pro Bowl and All-Pro list in year 4.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    DeCastro’s stock is ALL THE WAY UP!!!!!

  • Mitch

    Cincy was picking at 21. They traded back to 27 with New England, who took Chandler Jones.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Oh Yeah! That was a crazy year of trades if I remember correctly now. Nobody dancing with who brought them. They initially had the 21st pick and us the 24th. I believe they jumped up to 17 when they moved Palmer to Oakland. Thereby gaining that 2nd pick. When they grabbed Kirkpatrick, I was very pleasantly surprised. They eventually traded the 21st to NE, which was their version of rolling the dice. Instead of getting DeCastro though, they ended up having to go with Zeitler.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Good call. I couldn’t remember the number they picked at and glanced and saw it was 27. I swore they had picked before us, but forget that they traded Palmer to Oakland that year and so they actually jumped ahead to pick 17. Crazy that Palmer has had a good career resurgence but just not in Oakland, in Arizona. Hefty price Oakland had to endure in that one.

  • Da Bus Driver

    I’m glad Cincinnati didn’t take DeCastro at 17 after they traded up. Kirkpatrick has been alright. But he was a stud coming out of high school and did well at Alabama. The Bengals keep picking Cornerbacks every year so it is hard to crack their lineup at CB. I wonder if they let William Jackson start right away? I’ve told you that DeCastro was gonna be good. And that I thought Zeitler was a reach for them in the 1st round.

  • Da Bus Driver

    Yeah, they need to try their best to pay all of those guys you just mentioned.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I had Zeitler in the 3rd round so yeah, I thought he was a reach. But he has been quite good for them so far. But I still think DeCastro has the better long term future. Plus, he plays for us so I hope Zeitler falls into a hole somewhere in the Queen City. And I expect WJ3 to start. If only just because.

  • I seem to remember on the mocks that had DeCastro going elsewhere, Zeitler was mocked to us. Many of the pro analyst had a late 1stearly 2nd on him and thought he would be the 2nd guard taken that year. He has lived up to his draft pedigree and done well for them, DeCastro has been better for us.

  • And 66.

  • Darth Blount 47

    You guys have made me go back and pull out my notes for that draft. I had Zeitler as the 4th OG to go off. I had him mocked at the top of the 3rd rd to Buffalo. He just seemed like he’d be a good fit for the Bills. Full disclosure, I had DeCastro being gone before he got to us. But that is because, again, I rarely get guys that I want, lol. I was very happy to land him though. I agree, Zeitler has been very solid. And yeah, David has been great for us. I guess both teams got some pretty darn good players. I’m not sold on Kirkpatrick though, considering his own high school/college hype. He was great at Bama and only decent so far in the NFL. And the fact that they keep drafting CB’s in the 1st!! Grrr..