By Tom Jenkins
NFL Writer

“With the 24th selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select offensive lineman David DeCastro, Stanford University”.

And so, a dream was made for not only the young offensive lineman, not only Pittsburgh Steelers fans, but also the Steelers front office, most notably general manager Kevin Colbert, who had identified a few players the Steelers would be willing to trade up to get, with DeCastro being one of them.

Nearly every mock draft out there had the Stanford lineman going anywhere from 11th overall to 20th overall, with no one expecting him to be there when the Steelers chose at 24. But, the football gods were smiling on a hardworking, blue collar player and a hardworking football town.

Watching DeCastro on tape, one is just simply amazed. There were a few special players in this years draft, and he just happened to be one of them. His ability to pull quickly and kick out the outside defender is superb and fits right in with what the Steelers offense likes to do. The next thing one will probably notice is his aggression and ability to control any defender in front of him – something that is needed to play in the tough AFC North division where the defensive side of the ball is the reigning king.

There is little doubt among Steelers Nation that he will be a day one starter alongside Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, a first round draft pick in 2010, who exhibits much of the same qualities as this years first round draft pick.

Starting on the Steelers offensive line is a big task for anyone, but in all honesty, the only place that unit can go is up. After allowing 42 sacks last season, and watching a broken and battered Ben Roethlisberger limp from game to game after injuring his ankle after taking a pounding from two Cleveland Browns' defenders is something that is going to have to change next season if the Steelers want to get back to the Super Bowl.

Growing up, DeCastro was a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan, and after watching Super Bowl XL, wasn't exactly the Steelers number one fan, but according to an interview earlier tonight, he's now the Steelers biggest fan. Which is certainly acceptable, especially when taking into consideration that multiple Steelers have a New Orleans Saints Fleur-de-lis tattooed on their bodies.

A born leader, the guard anchored a veteran Stanford unit as the unquestioned leader, and handled himself extremely well during evaluations made by Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his staff. Under new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley, he is expected to challenged a trio of veterans for one of two starting guard spots,and it's a battle that he can certainly win.

With one selection down and ten more to go, the Pittsburgh Steelers' faithful are feeling VERY good about the upcoming NFL season and looking forward to watching the team solidify a few more weakened spots on the roster, including nose tackle and linebacker – something the front office has a plethora of experience in.


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