1st round pick - David Decastro Profile
1st round pick - David Decastro Profile
David Decastro - OG - Stanford
A redshirt Junior who just turned 22 in January, Decastro started every game for Stanford at RG over the past three years. In each of the past two seasons he was named 1st team All PAC-12. Decastro allowed just one sack in those starts (to UCLA's Brian Price as a Freshman) and anchored a rushing attack that averaged over 210 yards per game during his tenure. The vast majority of that was either behind Decastro at RG, or with him pulling left as a lead blocker. Decastro played in Stanford's Pro Style system where he was asked to do everything he will be required to do with the Steelers, which makes him plug and play ready. In addition to his impressive resume, Decastro was a top performer at the combine in agility drills (3 cone and shuttle) as well as bench press reps for Offensive Guards. I personally viewed six Stanford games this past season, keying in on Decastro in each game. Below is a scouting report I wrote on him in early October after having watched a few Stanford games.
"The big Stanford guard carries his weight well and is extremely agile and mobile for a Right Guard. He's very aggressive and plays up to the whistle, but is smart and controlled enough not to carry on beyond the play and draw penalties. Decastro has an excellent base, powerful hands, and good power in the run game. As a pulling guard he's one of the most athletic and mobile players I've seen at the second level in a decade, very reminiscent of Alan Faneca or Maurkice Pouncey when on the move. A well built 312 pounds, he has both good short area quickness and open field mobility. Decastro is also a very heady player who recognizes and picks up stunts and blitzes with ease. In the games viewed he was never penalized, never allowed a sack, and was dominant in the run game. On more than one occasion he passed off his man as he recognized a blitz and made the second block to buy Andrew Luck enough time to get the pass off. Also in the passing game Decastro displayed excellent feet as he slides and mirrors exceptionally well and is seldom caught reaching or lunging. Perhaps his best asset is that once he engages a defender, it's over. When Decastro locks on, defenders rarely get off his blocks and he holds those blocks through the whistle time and time again. A fierce finisher that will drive the defender until they are either on the ground or until the whistle blows. Consistent consistency in all areas of his game with zero notable holes.
Compares to: Logan Mankins with Alan Faneca's mobility & ability in space
Final Word: Smart, mobile, good in-line power blocker. Elite pulling guard, excels out in space. Athletic, good pass protection sets, slides and mirrors with perfection. Decastro has it all and can play either LG or RG in the NFL. Maybe The best pure Guard prospect to come out in the last half dozen years. Top 25 pick.
Some other scouting reports and quotes on Decastro:
"In terms of consistent dominance, there hasn't been an offensive or defensive lineman I've graded higher this season than David Decastro" - Rob Rang CBS Draftscout.com
DeCastro is fabulous at pulling and setting the edge. He can drive block and ride defenders around the field. DeCastro is quick and gets upfield to hit blocks on linebackers. He also is very effective on screen plays. He is a pure road-grader on the ground. In pass protection, DeCastro slides well. Bull rushes are completely ineffective as he has a strong base and anchors with ease. With his quickness and athleticism to fire back, quick three-technique pass-rushers struggle against DeCastro. DeCastro only had a few reps this year against Washington's massive defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu, but DeCastro won all of the reps. Stanford ran for 446 yards in the game. - Walter Cherepinsky
"DeCastro is considered one of the best guard prospects in years" - Mel Kiper
"He's clearly the top guard in the class. I think with DeCastro, when you get him, you're going to plug him in Day One, and he's going to be your starting guard." - Mike Mayock
"The best offensive line prospect I've evaluated since Maurkice Pouncey in 2010. … He's got the skill set to become one of the league's best guards early in his career." Pouncey was a rookie Pro Bowler." - Wes Bunting, director of college scouting for National Football Post,
"Never mind whether DeCastro might be a tackle. "You're making a mistake if you try to make him something he's not rather than let him do what he does best and become a Pro Bowl offensive guard," Todd McShay ESPN draft analyst