Name: David DeCastro
With the No. 14 pick, the Cowboys obviously can go in many different directions, staying put and taking the best player available, moving down a few spots or possibly trading up.
Different players have been discussed, but we've tried to narrow the field down to just a handful of prospects. One of those is Stanford's David DeCastro, widely considered the best guard in the draft and maybe the best in recent memory. Perhaps as near to a "sure thing" as there is in this draft, he'll be a serious consideration for the Cowboys if he is available when they go on the clock.
Former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus, the new football analyst for DallasCowboys.com, has broken down the game film on DeCastro. He watched four Stanford outings from 2011 (USC, Oregon, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State) and came away with this scouting report:
Initial Take: Lines up at right guard for the Cardinal ... Sits really low and is quick out of his stance ... Nice slide and punch ... Good to pull and adjust. Has a little hitch when he pulls but it doesn't limit his ability to get to the outside. He does a nice job when he gets on the edge of finding his target and sustaining his block ... Really does a nice job of sealing the edge and staying on his feet. It is rare that you see him on the ground.
Strengths: His strength is as a pass protector ... Has nice knee bend and flexibility when he kicks away from the line. Plays with balance and you do not see any overextension which happens to a lot of college linemen ... Really good job of movement and sliding with his man. Is very light on his feet and even when he is beaten with quickness, he is able to counter the move and work back into position to finish the block ... I am impressed with the way that, when he is uncovered in the pocket, he is always looking to help a teammate with a block ... Has outstanding awareness of his assignment and what he needs to do in the scheme to be successful ... You see the ability to adjust when defenses run blitzes to try and pressure Andrew Luck ... He is good at getting to the second level, able to combo with a center or tackle and work up ... Thought he did a better job sustaining blocks when on the edge moreso than when he was inside ... He can make the backside cut off block.
Weaknesses: If there is one area that DeCastro struggles in, it is when he has to be a one-on-one blocker in the running game. He doesn't always get the movement that you would expect from a player that benched 225 pounds 34 times at the combine. In this area, you see him getting stalemated more times than not, which is surprising.
Final Take: DeCastro is the best guard in a deep draft at the position. Thought there was a real chance before free agency that he was going to be the Cowboys' selection, but now I feel like they will go in a different direction. He's an outstanding pass protector and blocker on the edge, and does things with an ease of movement. But if he has a weakness, there are times where he doesn't get the movement as a drive blocker that you would expect.