Stanford offensive lineman David DeCastro is the best guard prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft. His name has been associated with the Dallas Cowboys for months now. Even though in this video Jerry Jones is being dismissive of the Cowboys taking him at 14, I believe it is a smokescreen. Jerry loves to do this sort of stuff, he loves to send people chasing around in circles.
Welcome to the 2012 NFL Draft, it isn't officially draft season until Jerry begins his smokescreen gambits.
For those out there that want to actually take him at his word here, then let's take a closer look on what the Cowboys have on the roster now. Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings were signed in free agency to starter type contracts. The other guards on the roster are David Arkin and Bill Nagy. Looking over the roster with the new additions does upgrade the guard position, but still are lacking a dominant guard in the mold of DeCastro.
DeCastro could be announced as the Cowboys 14th overall pick, go up on stage and show off the #1 Cowboys jersey and immediately be the 2nd best lineman on the team. This is why you don't pass on him just because you signed two guards in free agency. DeCastro is a Mike Iupati type of talent. A few years ago the Cowboys were in love with the guard out of Idaho. The San Francisco 49ers selected him with the pick and the Cowboys were interested in trading up for him.
If they were that much in love with Iupati, then they will love DeCastro. This is why I don't believe one word Jerry Jones said the other day in his interview. Smokescreen time folks, don't be fooled because Jerry does this all the time.
- 22 years old
- 6-5, 316
- Bellevue, Washington
- Graduated from Stanford early
- 3 year starter at right guard
- 2 time All-Conference first-team
- Bypassed his senior season to enter NFL Draft
Some people are just bred and born to play football, DeCastro is one of them. Growing up in Bellevue, Washington he was one of the nations best offensive lineman and led his prep school to a state title. He chose Stanford over Washington, Washington State and Oregon State. That decision was ultimately a great one because he played under a great coach in Jim Harbaugh and blocked for one of the best quarterback prospects in the past twenty years in Andrew Luck.
He did not play any games as a freshman in 2008, but as a redshirt freshmen in 2009 he took over the the right guard position and never looked back. DeCastro started all 39 games in his three years as a starter, never missing a game.
In my opinion, he is one of the safest picks in this years draft. He is safe because you know what you are going to get with him. He is a smart kid with great athletic ability, and I know he is a hard worker. The offensive guard position is not a glamorous one, so you usually don't see them go that high in the draft. However, DeCastro is the exception to that rule.
David DeCastro NFL Draft Analysis - 2010 Season (via TMBDraft)
- One of the best athletes on the field.
- Good stance, he never gets too high or too low.
- Good footwork allows him to be effective on the line.
- Uses excellent technique.
- Versatile, he can play center too.
- Uses his hands and arms to win.
- Great balance, he can redirect quickly and has great range of motion on the line.
- Smart player that keeps his head on a "swivel", meaning he locates what the defense is doing and if they change something. He also locates blitzers and works with his center.
- Very quick off the line.
- Maintains a good pad level.
- Excellent run blocker.
- Good in pass protection.
- Strength needs to be worked on, but one year in the NFL will get his strength and conditioning up.
- Needs to become a little bit more nastier and play more physical.
- Sometimes he will chop block too often and that will get him in trouble on the NFL level.
- Is pretty good already when he pulls and leads into space, but he needs to work on being more consistent in that area.
- Needs to finish his blocks better and be more consistent.
DeCastro is the total package at offensive guard. He has three years experience in a good conference and he had great coaches teaching him how to prepare for the next level. In a few years, he can become one of the best guards in football, that is how high his upside is. He looks like a perennial Pro Bowl type of talent.
His positives are basically everything you want in a top-ten draft pick at guard. There truly aren't too many flaws in his game. He is strong, but a year in the NFL will improve it even more and he can continue to add more muscle to his frame. Once he becomes a better finisher, his game will be complete.
Every team drafting in the top fifteen this year will be highly intrigued by DeCastro. If he manages to fall to the Cowboys at 14, then he should be their pick for a few reasons. He is safe, and there is a very low chance that he becomes a bust. Pairing him up with last year's first-round pick Tyron Smith would give the Cowboys a great future to build with on their offensive line.
As usual, it all comes down to Jerry Jones. Will he draft another offensive lineman with his first-round draft pick? That is the question that will be in our heads leading up until the night of the draft. I have done my homework on David DeCastro and I can tell you he is one of the best players in the entire draft. He would make a great Dallas Cowboy and hopefully he is available when we go on the clock.