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He is 6 feet 5 and weighs 316 pounds. He is drawing comparisons Steve Wisniewski and Steve Hutchinson, two of the best NFL players to ever line up at the same position. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top offensive lineman in the country. He played in a pro-style offense at Stanford. Heck, he even went to Bellevue High School.
What’s not to like about David DeCastro? As dominating as he was the past three seasons for the Cardinal, DeCastro plays guard.
And as well as he plays guard, he’s still a guard – a position that has long been undervalued in the NFL Draft. But this year, DeCastro also has been one of the fastest risers on many team’s draft boards as they prepare for next Thursday’s first round.
Just don’t interrupt DeCastro to tell him that.
“He is so serious he sometimes thinks a high-five after a touchdown is too frivolous because it might break concentration,” Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck said at the NFL Scouting Combine when asked about DeCastro. “But the person he is hardest on is himself.”
As Stanford coach David Shaw has described DeCastro, “He arrives angry and focused and expects everybody else to be the same. If he thinks something needs to be said, he says it and when he speaks the players listen.”
As did reporters during DeCastro’s to-the-point, if-not-expansive Q&A session at the combine:
Q: Would it be meaningful for someone at your position to be selected in the Top 15?
A: “Of course. Definitely.”
Q: Do you keep up with which NFL teams might need a guard?
A: “Not really. Why really worry about it? I just control what I can control – come to the combine, perform the best I can, and be myself. They can make the decisions. It’s not mine to make.”
Q: What are your best characteristics as a player?
A: “Oh, I don’t know. I guess teams would have to see that. I’m aggressive. I’m a hard worker. But I really don’t like talking about myself.”
Q: Do think offensive linemen are important these days?
A: “I think offensive lineman is an important position. I know tackles are valued more than guards, but I think that just having a good offensive line is important.”
Q: Where are you now in terms of your run blocking?
A: “You know, I think I’m good. But as I said before, you can always get better. I think I’m a bit too heavy sometimes, coming off the ball. Just a little too forward, and I need to work on that.”
Q: How closely did you follow (former Stanford coach) Jim Harbaugh’s success with the 49ers last season?
A: “Very close. It was cool. The same offense we ran. I noticed that on a lot plays, I knew exactly what they were running most of the time. And the same play calls. It was fun to watch. I’m always cheering for the old coaches.”
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