David DeCastro is a real OG, at least in the sense that he plays offensive guard.
While Andrew Luck has been getting all of the accolades for the Cardinals, and even offensive tackle Jonathan Martin getting some love, DeCastro has been often overlooked. But those in the know have been saying all year that he may have been just as valuable to Stanford’s success as Mr. Luck himself.
It is tough for interior linemen to get the respect they deserve, as their stats quite literally do not show up in the box score, and it is hard to understand the true value of a mauler on the inside of the line. Even centers get more love than the much-maligned guard.
Coming out of high school, he was a lowly three-star recruit and he did not even rank among the top ten centers in the nation. DeCastro was in fact the man hiking the ball when he played at Bellevue High in Washington. But he made his way down the coast to Stanford, and after redshirting his first year, he has emerged to become a dominant force on the inside of the line.
However, no prospect comes without their faults. One of the knocks on DeCastro is his size. He comes in at 6-foot-5 and 310-pounds, not exactly ideal for offensive guard. They are typically shorter and stockier, as height is better used at the tackle position rather than on the interior. But he has that edge and grit that is needed to dominate inside. They call him a mauler, and that is exactly what he does, especially on running downs.
Playing along the O-line requires a higher level of critical thinking than many other positions. So many factors need to be taken into account, as every scheme and assignment needs to be taken into account as soon as the ball snaps. So it surely comes in handy that DeCastro played at Stanford and was a science and engineering major. His Wonderlic score is sure to be off the charts as he works his way up the board.
However, the fact that he played at Stanford (in the weak Pac-10 conference) could potentially be used as another knock against the hulking big man. He did not face the type of defenses that he would have in the SEC, but he did face some solid groups in USC and Oregon.
It is hard to fault him for not playing against better competition, but it will be interesting to see how he does at the NFL Combine when he goes up against the likes of Devon Still and Brandon Thompson. The two hulking DT’s, from Penn State and Clemson respectively, will be eager to test DeCastro’s skill level.
It will be interesting to see where ends up on draft day, as it seems as if he has the perfect set of skills and intangibles necessary to rise up the boards. Many teams are in need of help on the inside of the line, most notably the Chargers and the Titans, in the area that DeCastro is expected to fall. A run-heavy team like the Jets could possibly take him a little earlier as well.
David DeCastro surely has come a long way from being a three-star center in Washington to becoming one of the most dominant interior lineman in the nation. He gave Andrew Luck all day in the pocket to shred apart defenses, and he will surely have a long career in the league.