Guards are typically devalued when it comes to the draft. Among o-linemen, left tackles tend to be the most valuable, followed by a quality center, with guards pulling up the rear. I think DeCastro is a bona fide top talent (best guard to come out since the days of Hutchinson or Faneca), but teams picking early in the draft tend to have bigger needs such as quarterbacks, big play go-to receivers, pass rushers, or shut-down cornerbacks. Could he potentially fall? I doubt it, but lets see if we could come up with a reasonable draft in which teams rumored to be interested in DeCastro decide to go in another direction at a position of greater perceived importance than a guard.
1. IND QB Andrew Luck (You don't cut Peyton Manning loose unless you plan to draft the best QB prospect to come along in years).
2. WAS QB Robert Griffin (You don't trade multiple future first round draft picks for anything but a potential franchise QB).
3. MIN OT Matt Kalil (Their G.M. seems to be throwing up a lot of smokescreens at this point, but Kalil to the Vikings simply makes too much sense for it not to happen).
4. CLE RB Trent Richardson (Cleveland could use a QB, WR, and RB, so they could be tempted by Tannehill or Blackmon instead. However, I think they go with Richardson as a BPA choice, then try to get a wideout such as Kendall Wright or Stephen Hill later in the first round with the pick they got in the Julio Jones trade, and a developmental QB to compete with Colt McCoy in round 2 like Brandon Weeden or Kirk Cousins).
5. TB CB Morris Claiborne (Ronde Barber is older than dirt. Aqib Talib may be going to jail. They gave big money to Eric Wright this offseason, but that was a mistake...he's a #2 CB at best. Claiborne could be a #1 CB, so he's the choice here. Blackmon's tempting, but they brought in VJax this offseason to add to Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn).
6. STL WR Justin Blackmon (The Rams get a king's ransom from Washington, and still end up with the guy they wanted all along. Not bad, eh?).
7. JAX DE Melvin Ingram (they were able to retain Mincey, but could use more of a pass rush. Aaron Kampman is aging and was injured last season).
8. MIA QB Ryan Tannehill (after missing out on Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, they have painted themselves into a corner).
9. CAR DE Quinton Coples (everyone is projecting a DT here, but they could use a pass rusher opposite Charles Johnson who is better than former 6th round pick Greg Hardy. They did just fine with a tall, athletic Tar Heel DE in the past named Julius Peppers...they can address DT in round 2 with someone else from a Carolina school, Clemson's Brandon Thompson).
10. BUF OT Riley Reiff (they filled their pass rushing needs in free agency with Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, and now that Demetress Bell is in Philly, they need a tackle to replace him)
11. KC DT Dontari Poe (Scott Pioli identifies his new version of Vince Wilfork; a big ol' fella who simply should not be able to move as nimbly as he does).
12. SEA ILB Luke Kuechly (with David Hawthorne in N'Awlins and LeRoy Hill getting arrested again and again, the Hawks need to add a LB who is a tackling machine).
13. ARZ WR Michael Floyd (Andre Roberts and Early Doucet are decent complementary pieces as 3rd or 4th wideouts, but the Cards have been without a legit threat opposite Fitz since Boldin bolted for Baltimore).
14. DAL SS Mark Barron (their biggest needs were in the interior OL at both guard as well as center and secondary at both corner as well as safety. They released veteran guard Kyle Kozier and veteran corner Terrence Newman, then replaced them by signing 2 guards to multi-year deals [Nate Livings 5 years, $19 million and Mackenzy Bernadeau 4 years, $11 million] plus gave a big money deal to CB Brandon Carr [5 years, $50.1 million]. They did not sign a new center, but #14 is too early for Peter Konz unless they trade down [I have mentioned giving up our 2nd round pick to move up from #24 to #14, so Konz would be in their wheelhouse at #24 if they made such a move]. They added safety Brodney Pool on a short term deal [1 year, $1.2 million]. Their best bet could be a long term answer at safety, which Barron gives them.
15. PHL DT Fletcher Cox (They might have gone LB, but then they traded for DeMeco Ryans. They might have gone LT after losing Jason Peters to injury, but then they signed Demetress Bell. They might have gone WR, but then they re-signed Desean Jackson to a 5 year, $51 million deal. The fact is that Andy Reid loves drafting big uglies. Fletcher Cox is the best available big ugly at this point).
16. NYJ OLB Courtney Upshaw (The Jets need a pass rush so they don't need to rely on mega-blitzes in order to pressure the opposing QB).
17. CIN CB Dre Kirkpatrick (After losing Johnathan Joseph to the Texans last year, then Leon Hall tearing his Achilles tendon last November, they need some talented young CB depth since Nate Clements is 32 and Adam Jones could always be 5 seconds away from more Pac Man shenanigans).
18. SD OLB Whitney Mercilus (San Diego needs a pass rush. Larry English is approaching bust territory, Shaun Phillips had only 3.5 sacks last year, and adding Jarrett Johnson isn't enough, since he has only a total of 20 career sacks in 9 years with the Ravens, including starting all 16 games in Baltimore in each of the last 5 seasons).
19. CHI OT Jonathan Martin (Chicago's biggest need was at wideout, but after trading for Brandon Marshall, they can focus on improving the protection for Jay Cutler. While they could certainly benefit from a DeCastro, they'll take his college teammate instead, since J'Marcus Webb has regressed and they desperately need someone competent to protect Cutler's blind side...they were hoping that it would be Chris Williams a few years ago, but he has already been converted to a guard, and last year's top pick Gabe Carimi is a better RT than LT).
20. TEN CB Stephon Gilmore (They are often cited as a team that could use their first round pick on the OL, partcularly since Hall of Fame o-lineman Mike Munchak is their head coach, and he hired his former teammate, another Hall of Fame o-lineman Bruce Matthews to coach the OL in Tennessee. They could take DeCastro to be the next Hutchinson, but instead, they signed the actual Steve Hutchinson himself instead. Gilmore would be a replacement for the departed Cortland Finnegan, who signed with his old coach Jeff Fisher in St. Louis).
21. CIN OG/OT Cordy Glenn (The Bengals lost OG Nate Livings to the Cowboys, but signed OG Travelle Wharton from the Panthers to replace him. However, they could still use another guard, and if DeCastro were somehow still available at this point, I'm sure that they would be tempted. However, it seems like a typical Bengal-type of move for them to be more tempted by Glenn's high upside potential rather than DeCastro as more of a "sure-thing", since they seem to value bigger guys with athleticism like Glenn, and plus Cordy could double as both a starting guard for them as well insurance for them at tackle if anything should happen to Andrew Whitworth or Andre Smith).
22. CLE WR Kendall Wright (Trent Richardson at RB plus Kendall Wright and Greg Little at WR [with Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massoquoi for depth at WR too] isn't a bad arsenal of weapons...the Browns may be improving themselves under the Walrus...cuckoo kachoo).
23. DET OT Mike Adams (They might have taken a DE or ILB before franchising Cliff Avril and re-signing Stephen Tulloch to a 5 year extension. Matt Stafford was able to throw for over 5000 yards last season, but he has been nicked up every year before that, so their emphasis will be on keeping him protected. Detroit has a bigger need at tackle than guard. The Lions brought back Jeff Backus, but it was only a 2 year $6 million deal for a guy who had offseason surgery and turns 35 at the beginning of this season...dude's started every single game in the past 11 seasons in Detroit...they need to start grooming a potential replacement, and Gosder Cherilus is not the answer...he's a RT only).
24. PIT OG David DeCastro (Because I said so. Neener neener ha ha!).
Do I think it will actually go down this way? No way! But what I was trying to show that it was possible that each individual team could opt for another player at a position of "greater value" than taking DeCastro as a guard. Highly, highly, highly doubtful that something like this could ever come to fruition, but I enjoy torturing myself with unrealistic dreams, apparently.