DeCastro is a smart, technically sound guard who has been an integral part of Stanford’s dominant power rushing attack for three years. While not overly impressive physically, DeCastro beats his opponents consistently by being fundamentally sound, consistent with effort, and taking advantage of his natural flexibility to gain leverage advantages. He is a master at pulling and trapping, and opens holes in the running game with a seek-and-destroy attitude. One of the top guards I have watched on tape, DeCastro is worthy of top-15 consideration in the 2012 draft.
DeCastro is solid in pass protection, helping keep all-world QB Andrew Luck safe for the past three years. While possessing only average anchor strength, DeCastro fights for leverage with his hands and stay under the pads of his opponent consistently well. He keeps his arms extended in pass protection and does a good job keeping his feet moving and maintaining balance. Larger defenders may give him trouble on the inside at the next level. DeCastro is listed at 310 lbs. but is very lean looking and has the frame to add some weight in the NFL.
DeCastro’s main area of excellence is run blocking. He easily walls off defenders in the run game, and never seems to get beat at the point of attack. He uses quick feet to pull and is as good at locating defenders at the second level as I’ve seen. DeCastro may not be a dominant drive blocker (which may come with some added bulk) but he keeps his legs churning with good effort and has the ability to move defenders off the ball. He plays RG at Stanford mainly because of the power rushing attack they use, which has him pulling on seemingly every run play. DeCastro can easily transition to LG in the NFL.
DeCastro is an intelligent player and understand his assignments very well. He never seems to be fooled by blitzes in the pass game, and does an excellent job leaving a double-team to pick up an incoming defender. In the run game, he locates defenders extremely well and is seemingly always in the correct position.
DeCastro does a good job keeping his arms extended and his hands engaged in pass protection, but he does not possess an elite initial punch and he does not usually win battles with his hands. While it may be nitpicking a bit on a player of DeCastro’s caliber, this is an area where he can improve and should be coached up on in the NFL where defenders can be violent with their hands.
DeCastro does not possess elite athleticism or foot speed but has enough mobility to easily get to the second level, often even using a quick swim move to get around the tackle on screen plays. His ability to be a pulling guard is one of his best assets and he looks comfortable working in space. He does have nice natural flexibility that allows his to stay low and win leverage battles time after time.
DeCastro is very light on his feet and does a beautiful job of using short, choppy steps when pulling/trapping to maintain good balance and leverage. He never stops moving his feet when engaged with a defender and maintain a proper shoulder-width base in pass protection. DeCastro is technically very sound.
Threw shot put in high school and was the Washington State 3A champion in 2008 with a throw of 59’3”.
2011: Has played and started in all 12 games
2010: Played and started in all 13 games
2009: Played and started in all 13 games
Majoring in management, science, and engineering
Awards & Honors
2011: Phil Steele preseason All-American, Outland Trophy finalist
2010: All-Pac-10 First Team
2009: All-Pac-10 honorable mention