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Steelers Draft Offensive Guard David DeCastro In First Round

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro with the No. 24 selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

DeCastro was projected as high at the No. 11 pick in various CBSSports.com mock drafts, and projected as the top offensive guard in the draft. He stands 6-foot-5, 316 pounds.

“Everything we would ask him to do we saw him do at Stanford, whether it was pulling or pass protection” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after drafting DeCastro. “… He’s a tough guy. He has a lot of attributed we think will help our football team.”

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was equally impressed. Many were, considering DeCastro was responsible for allowing just one sack in his college career.

It came as a freshman.

“There were several players still available, again surprisingly, for us David was the guy,” Colbert said. “He’s great at the line of scrimmage, he can pull, he can trap, he’s a solid pass protector. Really, the kid is good.”

Colbert also said that DeCastro was one of the players the Steelers identified as worth trading up for in the draft. The way things played out, a trade wasn’t necessary.

DeCastro’s former coach and teammates have high praise for him, pointing out his role as a leader for the Cardinal and his approach to the game.

Stanford head coach David Shaw said DeCastro expects players around him to have a heightened focus and work ethic.

“He arrives angry and focused and expects everybody else to be the same,” Shaw told CBSSports.com. “If he thinks something needs to be said, he says it and when he speaks the players listen.”

First-overall pick, quarterback Andrew Luck said DeCastro has had a business-like attitude for a long time, which many would argue will help him transition to the next level.

“He is so serious he sometimes thinks a high five after a touchdown is too frivolous because it might break concentration,” Luck told CBSSports.com. “But the person he is hardest on is himself.”

DeCastro grew up in a family of athletes, with his father and grandfather being former rugby players in South Africa.

He is the third straight early-round selection for the Steelers along the offensive line. Two years ago they drafted center Maurkice Pouncey and selected tackle Marcus Gilbert with their second-round pick last year.

Operating in a pro-style offense at Stanford, some draft experts think DeCastro can step in and start in the NFL this coming season.

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