The great David DeCastro debate

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
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OK, I'm a little biased since I know David DeCastro and think any team in the NFL would be lucky to have a plug-and-play offensive lineman like him. So in my mind, there isn't much debate.

But over at ESPN Dallas, Todd Archer has a different take. He and Tim MacMahon debated which player is better for the Cowboys — with MacMahon on the side of DeCastro and Archer looking to the opposite side of the ball, opting for Alabama safety Mark Barron.

Writes MacMahon:
If it comes down to taking the best player on the board, Stanford guard David DeCastro will be an easy selection for the Cowboys with the 14th overall pick.

No argument. I've seen a mock or two that has DeCastro cracking the top 10 based on need. I don't think he'll go that high, but as Archer points out, DeCastro is likely to be a 10-year starter in the NFL.

MacMahon continues:
He's a tough, smart, 6-foot-5, 316-pound technician who is a good run blocker, especially in space, and excels in pass protection. He'd make the Cowboys' run game better and provide a clean pocket for Tony Romo.

The beauty of a player like DeCastro is that he comes from a pro-style system. Because he doesn't come from a pass-happy spread attack, he doesn't need to be re-trained to think run first. That's instinctive to a guy like DeCastro. He's just as good in pass protection, as MacMahon notes, but you want a guy whose first instinct is to take a step forward in the run game, rather than sit back and pass protect.

MacMahon concludes:
DeCastro is the one player the Cowboys could possibly pick at No. 14 who doesn't have any notable question marks. So what if guard/center isn't considered a premium position? You can't go wrong drafting a perennial Pro Bowler.

This is the one spot where I'd put on the breaks. Lots of good guards out there in the NFL. Does DeCastro have Pro Bowl potential? Absolutely. But to call a guy a perennial Pro Bowler might be jumping the gun just a little bit. I understand MacMahon is putting an exclamation point on his argument. And personally, I'd love to see DeCastro have that kind of success. But that kind of a praise might be a little premature until we see how he adjusts to the next level. Other than that, I'm on board with MacMahon.

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