Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is underway, and the roster heading into the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we head toward training camp.
Player: RG David DeCastro
Stock Value: Even
I don’t think David DeCastro’s stock can really go up much higher. The veteran guard is already near the peak of his profession, a perennial Pro Bowler, even though he was mistakenly and egregiously left off of the All-Pro list last season for the first time in a while.
The former first-round pick is in that sweet spot of his career in which he is still at his physical peak but also a highly experienced player at the same time. He knows his body and how to take care of it. He know hos to study opponents, and even knows many of his opponents through having played against them already. He has all the tricks of the trade.
But he’s still 29. He won’t hit the age of 30 until January, so that should come right in the midst of the Steelers’ postseason run. Already with seven seasons under his belt, he has played a lot of ball, but could potentially still have a lot left in his future as well.
Because he really does take good care of his body. He rarely misses time, and when he does, it’s because of a freak injury, like his torn MCL as a rookie due to friendly fire, or a thumb injury suffered in the opener last year, costing him two games. Prior to last season, he had not missed a game due to injury since his second season, and even then, it was just one game. He did miss 12 games as a rookie because of that knee injury suffered in the third preseason game.
There’s no reason to believe that, if he wants to, DeCastro could continue to play at a high level into his mid-30s, the way that a Marshal Yanda has. At age 34, in his 12th season, Yanda made the Pro Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens for the seventh time.
The Steelers have him signed for the next three years, which will bring him to 10 years in the league by the end of it. But I would fully expect him to sign a short extension before that runs over.