Six-Word Scouting Report: Retro chic Lombardi-style pulling guard.
Strengths: Blocking on the move, leverage, finishing.
Weaknesses: Size-Power, footwork.
Guards are the bass guitarists of the offensive line. Left tackles are the strutting front men. Centers are the brainy creative element. Right tackles are hard-hitting drummers. Guards are indispensable, yet they are easy to overlook, and somewhat interchangeable. Bill Wyman was one of the greatest bass players in history, but the Rolling Stones replaced him with a session musician 20 years ago, and "Gimmie Shelter" sounds just as good live now as it did in 1991, which is to say, about one-tenth as good as it sounded in 1971.
This draft marks the triumphant return of the guard as difference maker. DeCastro is a superb technician, like Jon Entwistle or James Jamerson. Cordy Glenn of Georgia is more like Lemmy Kilmister, ready to pummel the world into a rumbling submission. Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin is smooth and precise like early Sting. Washington's Senio Kelemete is fiery and energetic like Geezer Butler. It's time to stop before someone gets compared to Tina Weymouth.
DeCastro's strength is his ability to block on the move. He pulls out quickly to lead sweeps, can slip behind fellow linemen to trap block, and has quick feet in pass protection. One of the hardest elements of pull blocking is knowing what to do when you turn the corner and see three defenders closing on your running back, but DeCastro understands blocking schemes and chooses the right opponent to hit. Once he engages, DeCastro stays locked to his defender.
Those were great attributes for a guard to have for most of football history, but pull-blocking techniques have fallen out of favor in the pass-happy modern N.F.L.The Steelers are more of a drive blocking team, but they cannot be choosy when a lineman of DeCasto's caliber slides down the draft board. The Steelers allowed 42 sacks last year, and no lineman was healthy enough to start more than 14 games.