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First round reflections

April 26, 2012 - Ray Eckenrode
On guard
After all the analysis, all the mock drafts and all the hot air, the Steelers wound up picking a guy that NO ONE thought would still be on the board at #24 in the form of Stanford guard David DeCastro. Guards are not high-value players in the NFL, so even though he was the sixth-highest graded player in the entire draft, it was expected DeCastro would be picked somewhere between 10 and 15. But when Ken Whisenhunt and the Arizona Cardinals went for a WR at #13 and Seattle reached for WVU pass rusher Bruce Irvin at #15, it started a chain of events that allowed DeCastro to fall all the way to Pittsburgh. DeCastro is an extremely physical player who is also unusually sound technically, a rare combination that is sure to draw comparisons to Alan Faneca. The only knock on him is that he lacks versatility, but the Steelers certainly have enough swing players (C-G Legursky, G-T Essex) to make that point moot. There's a lot of hyperbole on draft night, but it would be a shocker if (barring injury) DeCastro is not in the Pittsburgh lineup for Week 1 of the 2012 season.

Day 2 Steelers predictions
Pick #56: Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
A bit undersized, but a ferocious run defender, he'll get a year to study before being thrown into the fire.
Pick #86: Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
He's not a 20-carry guy, but Pead looks suited to be Mewelde Moore's replacement.

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