Former Bellevue standout and Stanford product David DeCastro was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 24th pick in the NFL draft.
Here is the Associated Press story on DeCastro:
PITTSBURGH (AP)- The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting serious when it comes to protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers selected Stanford All-American offensive guard David DeCastro with the 24th overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday, hoping to shore up a unit that failed to keep Roethlisberger healthy last season.
“We really we didn’t think David would be there at 24 quite honestly,” general manager Kevin Colbert said. “We valued him that high. We said there was a few special players in this draft, and he was one of them.”
The 6-foot-5, 316-pound DeCastro started 39 games in three seasons with the Cardinal and was an All-American after his junior season last fall. DeCastro helped Stanford finish seventh in the country in fewest sacks allowed in 2011 while blocking for quarterback Andrew Luck.
Though he played at right guard, coach Mike Tomlin believes DeCastro can play at either spot. He will compete with veterans Ramon Foster, Doug Legursky and Trai Essex for a starting job.
Colbert said the pro-style offense run at Stanford should help DeCastro make a quick transition to the NFL. Though he was a solid pass protector — not giving up a sack or a pressure as a junior — the Steelers think DeCastro is even more effective run blockling.
“When you watch this team (Stanford) run the football 80 percent of the time David Decastro was leading the way,” Tomlin said. “This kid’s an exceptional player.”
DeCastro is the second offensive lineman drafted in the first round by the Steelers in the last three years. They took center Maurkice Pouncey in the 2010 Draft, and the former Florida star made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Pittsburgh also took tackle Marcus Gilbert in the second round last year.
Pittsburgh allowed 42 sacks last year, ninth most in the league, and Roethlisberger took a beating at times, missing action late in the season with an ankle injury suffered against the Cleveland Browns that limited him down the stretch.
Seattle Times photo by Mark Harrison