The calendar has now flipped over to July and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp will be getting underway in Latrobe later this month. As usual, we have several series planned to get you ready for this year’s training camp and mine will center around preview profiles of 50 players over the course of the next 25 days. Most of these profiles will be on players who were under contract with the team in 2016.
Up seventeenth in this series is a 2017 preview profile of guard David DeCastro.
Intro: DeCastro’s 2016 season was another solid one overall and he was part of an effective offensive line that helped the Steelers ball-carries average 110 yards rushing a game while only giving up 21 total sacks. DeCastro was also voted to the Pro Bowl a second consecutive time in 2016.
Current Strengths: DeCastro’s biggest strength to date is probably his ability to pull on power plays as he’s not only athletic enough to do so, he also knows where his target will be after moving out in space and usually effectively connects with it. With his main strength now identified, DeCastro is also a very consistent and effective run blocker and pass protector on the line as a whole and according to our breakdowns this past season, he only allowed two sacks in total during the regular season as part of an offensive line that only allowed 21 in total. He anchors well in general in pass protection and is very disciplined with his feet width and hand placement.
Current Weaknesses: DeCastro struggles at times with quick and strong defensive tackles when it comes to them attacking gaps and especially to the inside of him in pass protection. Perhaps the biggest knock on DeCastro, however, and especially last season, was the amount of penalties he incurred. That number was 14 last year during the reguklar season and he led the offense in that dubious stat as a result.
2017 Outlook: DeCastro remains one of the top right guards in the NFL entering the 2017 season and there’s no reason to think his skills will diminish. One would think that there’s a good chance his penalty totals will decrease some in 2017 as well. In short, he should be considered a candidate for yet another First-Team All-Pro designation, which would be his second if ultimately achieved. He’s fun to watch on the move and we should see a lot of that again in 2017.
2017 Base Salary: $1,100,000 plus $6,750,000 roster bonus
2017 Salary Cap Charge: $11,050,000
2017 Health Status: No known ailments exiting offseason program
2016 Health Status: Zero games missed last season due to injury
2016 Regular Season Snaps Played: 1,082 of 1,083
2016 Stat That Matters: Only missed one offensive snap in 2016