Pittsburgh Steelers position update: Guard


This is the sixth in a series that takes a post-training camp look at every position. Next up is guard.

Players on the roster: Ramon Foster, David DeCastro, Cody Wallace, Chris Hubbard, Bryant Browning and Will Simmons.

Projected starters: Foster and DeCastro. Foster, the elder statesman of a relatively young offensive line, is solid at left guard. DeCastro has Pro Bowl written all over him after playing well in 2013 in his first full NFL season.

Projected number on 53-man roster: Three. I’m counting Wallace here even though he is also the Steelers’ primary center. Hubbard has a chance if the Steelers keep nine offensive linemen, but I only see them carrying eight.

Rookie watch: Simmons signed with the Steelers in May as an undrafted rookie, and his best hope is to land on the practice squad.

What we learned in camp: The Steelers are fine at guard as long as Foster and DeCastro stay relatively healthy. Foster missed a significant amount of practice time after reporting late to camp due to the death of his mother and then dealing with knee swelling. DeCastro had a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2013 and the former first-round pick is poised to take another step under first-year offensive line coach Mike Munchak. Hubbard has improved after spending all of last season on the practice squad but probably not enough to overtake Wallace. He still has practice squad eligibility.

He said it: “I’ve watched him on tape and I thought he was a good pick for the Steelers when he came here so I’m glad that I get a chance to work with someone like him. He wants to get better and really all that for a player is up to him. The ability is there, he wants it, he is improving. There’s all kinds of opportunities for him to get better.” – Munchak on DeCastro.