David DeCastro Graded As NFL’s Best Run Blocking Guard

Last year, if we’re being honest, was not David DeCastro’s best year. It wasn’t bad by any means but fair to characterize it as a disappointment. No Steeler was more penalized than his 11, five more than the next closest offensive linemen. That number is down this year. And he’s viewed as not only the best run blocker on the team but of any offensive guard in the league.

That’s according to the folks over at Pro Football Focus, who have given him a league-leading 93.2 run blocking grade.

DeCastro has consistently earned high marks from PFF this season. And from our own charting, he’s allowed just half a sack in pass protection (he did allow only two in 2016).

He’s a bread and butter player in the run game, usually the lead puller on the Steelers’ famous counter trey runs that have been so successful over the past years. DeCastro plays with the physical, old-school demeanor football demands, like this block on the Steelers’ first run last Sunday. Chip the 3 tech to the ground and then cut the linebacker at the second level, opening up a huge lane for Le’Veon Bell.

Despite the weapons at receiver, the Steelers have run the ball sixth most of the entire NFL, though playing with the lead like they have certainly aides in that figure. The average isn’t particularly pretty, just 3.7 YPC, but that’s hardly DeCastros’ fault.

He’s been a steady presence on a line that has seen more shuffling around than it would like, even forced to rely on third string right tackle Matt Feiler to close out last week’s game. But the Steelers will hopefully be back to its intended starting five after the bye. Even if it’s not, DeCastro’s role – or performance – will be unchanged. He’ll continue to maul in the run game and serve as one of the NFL’s top guards.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Sup

    Watch everybody start talking good about pff

  • Wayne Padgett

    The Steelers have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. DeCastro has been fantastic. They have one of the best centers, right guards and right tackles in the NFL. Pouncey, DeCastro and Gilbert. It was only a year or so ago that both DeCastro and Gilbert as a tandem allowed only 2 sacks in a whole season combined. DeCastro could possibly be the best pull guard in the league.

  • Steeler Nation!

    There’s a reason why Bell AND Williams have been able to pile up huge #s the last few years. I like Bell and wanted him to sign and stay, but the O Line has been what’s carrying the load. And DeCastro is a huge part of that.

  • Steeldog22

    Holds too much and we never should have paid him, a guard, $10M a season. Yes, others have actually said this.

  • King Wodi

    He’s been a head buster for a while. Wouldn’t want to meet him in a gap.

  • Emiliano Castrejón

    Man, I felt offended for a second

  • NinjaMountie

    I don’t watch enough of the other OGs around the league to know. So, I’ll just take PFF at their word on this one.
    He’s been great and will continue to be a great Steeler! Go DeCastro!

  • nutty32

    He was pretty excellent last year, too(?). False starts are false starts but he kicked everyone’s butt.

  • Obi Ryn Denobi

    Sometimes I wonder when they’re handing out their initial post-game scores, whether they just watched the same game game I did. But their longer trends are usually fair, although they did seem to have a weird hard-on over Pouncey a few years back.


    that was his main strength in the draft too