The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Stanford guard David DeCastro with the 24th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
This is just another draft day slam dunk in a long line for general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin. After position runs on defensive backs and defensive linemen, DeCastro — the third offensive lineman selected after tackles Matt Kalil (No. 3) and Riley Reiff (no. 23) — was just sitting there at 24, low-hanging fruit for Pittsburgh to pluck.
Once again, the Steelers let the draft come to them, and it paid off big time.
DeCastro is a strong, athletic, nasty road-grader — one of the highest-graded talents at any position in this draft class. He has the potential to be Alan Faneca reincarnate, pancaking opposing defenders in the run game and excelling at stifling interior blitzes in pass protection.
Stanford's offense — a pro-style attack if there ever was one at the collegiate level — incorporated lots and lots of guard movement. This means pulling on counters and screen passes and relying on DeCastro's athleticism to engage linebackers and safeties at the second level. Can you imagine him working in tandem with center Maurkice Pouncey, another athletic big man on the inside? This is going to mean big things for Pittsburgh's attack going forward.
If you need proof of how excited the Steelers war room must have been, look no further than the rapidity with which they turned in their pick after the Detroit Lions at No. 23. That was the single fastest pick I've seen in a decade, hands down.
Make no mistake, Pittsburgh nabbed one of the most talented players in the draft at a position of need. DeCastro starts from day one. I expect him to line up opposite Ramon Foster at whichever guard spot he feels most comfortable, with Doug Legursky being the swing / interior backup.
It's a good day to be a Steelers fan.