When I woke up this morning, I ran to my computer to confirm that the Steelers had actually taken David DeCastro with the 24th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. I just couldn’t be sure that I hadn’t dreamed it. After all, nobody thought that a player of DeCastro’s talent could possibly fall all the way to the Steelers at #24.
So when I logged onto my computer and read the headlines, I was relieved to find that it wasn’t a dream. The Steelers had actually taken DeCastro.
Unfortunately, I also saw lots of comments from Steelers fans criticizing the pick. Some of the complaints that I heard were, “They should have taken a cornerback”, or “Hightower would have been a better pick”, or “Zeitler is a better fit”, or “We needed a nose tackle more than we needed a guard”.
I usually try not to argue with fans, but in this case, I feel that I have to. David DeCastro was the best selection that the Steelers could have made. Nobody else was even close.
“They should have taken a cornerback”
For those of you who think that the Steelers should have taken a cornerback, I challenge you to name a cornerback who was available who is a better player than DeCastro. Many believe that DeCastro is the best guard to come out of college since Steve Hutchinson. Morris Claiborne was the only cornerback who was thought to be a definite 1st round talent, and he was long gone. Stephon Gilmore and Dre Kirkpatrick were also off the board. So were the Steelers supposed to reach and take a 2nd or 3rd round talent in the 1st round simply to get a cornerback? I don’t think so. The Steelers will probably take a CB in this draft. But they won’t reach for him.
“Hightower would have been a better pick”
When the Steelers pick came up, they had their choice between David DeCastro and Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower. And they chose DeCastro. So that says a lot about how the team graded the two players. Hightower was selected by the New England Patriots on the very next pick. Hightower is a very good player. But DeCastro is a better player who fills a more important need.
“Zeitler is a better fit”
What????!!!! This comment is so stupid that I’m tempted to ignore it completely. DeCastro is a better run blocker. DeCastro is a better pass blocker. DeCastro is better at running pulls and traps. He’s better in every way. NOBODY had Zeitler rated higher than DeCastro. Picking Zeitler ahead of DeCastro would have been like selecting Batman ahead of Superman if you were starting a super hero team. Only an idiot would take Batman before Superman. But it would take an even bigger idiot to take Zeitler before DeCastro.
“We needed a nose tackle more than we needed a guard”.
We definitely need a nose tackle. There’s no doubt about it. In fact, nose tackle is the only position that even comes close to guard in terms of the team’s needs. But there were no 1st round talents at nose tackle in this year’s draft. Dontari Poe is a workout wonder who didn’t show 1st round talent in actual football games. And all of the other nose tackles in this year’s draft are 2nd or 3rd round talents at best. So should the Steelers have reached for a player in the 1st round that they could probably get in the 2nd round?
I won’t be surprised if the Steelers take a player like Alemeda Ta’amu in the 2nd round. After all, they do need a nose tackle. But if a better player is available who plays a different position, then I expect the Steelers to pick the better player.
The Steelers have always followed a philosophy of taking the best player available, regardless of what position he plays. That philosophy has served them well over the years. And they have six Lombardi Trophies to prove it.