The conversation on what the one weakness for the Pittsburgh Steelers for years has been their offensive line. General Manager Kevin Colbert made sure early on that he would silence his critics.
Even with the need of offensive linemen, many analysts believed they would still go with All-American linebacker from the University of Alabama, Dont’a Hightower. The Steelers would have been more than pleased with drafting Hightower, until the NFL dropped and early Christmas gift on their draft table.
David DeCastro, offensive guard from Stanford University, was projected as the top guard in the draft and tenth overall prospect in the draft. With the addition of DeCastro alone, the Steelers pulled off one of their most successful drafts in the past decade.
Here is a closer and more in-depth look at all nine selections by the Steelers.
Round 1, Pick 24 David DeCastro: DeCastro can be expected to make an immediate impact on the depleted Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. Lining up next to Maurkice Pouncey will open up some enormous holes for the running game. DeCastro has protected the likes of Andrew Luck for the past for years at Stanford. The Steelers should feel like they got the biggest steal of the first round in DeCastro, as he was projected to be off the board by the time Pittsburgh made their selection.
Round 2, Pick 56 Pick Mike Adams: As if getting DeCastro in the first round didn’t buff up the offensive line enough, the Steelers made sure they added some depth with the addition of offensive tackle out of Ohio State, Mike Adams. Adams was projected to be a first round pick before he ran into some off the field issues. At this year’s combine, Adam’s tested positive for marijuana and then lied about it. Taking a player with this history is way out of the Steeler’s comfort zone, but researched hard and deep to realize he would be a good fit. Expect Adams to crack the starting lineup in a year or two.
Round 3, Pick 86 Sean Spence: With the needs for offensive line filled in the first two draft picks, the Steelers moved onto another need. With the release of veteran James Farrior, Pittsburgh was in need of some depth at inside linebacker. In comes Sean Spence out of the University of Miami. What Spence lacks in size he makes up in his athleticism. His quickness allows him to recover well and get to the ball carrier. He will be used more on blitz packages. Don’t expect him to start this year, as that job will go to Stevenson Sylvester.
Round 4, Pick 109 Alameda Ta’amu: The defensive tackle from University of Washington is a perfect fit with the Steelers. Although he might not rack up the tackles and sacks, the Steelers won’t be asking him for that. Ta’amu will be the heir apparent to veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton. At 6’3” 338-pounds, Ta’amu is the perfect candidate to clog the holes to create havoc for his linebackers.
Round 5, Pick 159 Chris Rainey: Just in case the Steelers felt like they didn’t have enough playmakers on offense, they found one in Florida University running back, Chris Rainey. Rainey would be the typical third down back for Pittsburgh that could catch passes out of the backfield. Like most rookies, Rainey will make his impact this upcoming year in special teams, where he served as the kick returner, punt returner and on punt defense as a Gator.
Round 7, Pick 231 Toney Clemons: It’s always a good story when you get drafted by your hometown team. That is what happened to Colorado University wide receiver, Toney Clemons, when the Steelers made the New Kensington local their first pick in the seventh round. Clemons really came on late in his senior year but will have a lot of work to do to crack the top four on the Steeler’s wide receiver depth chart.
Round 7, Pick 240 David Paulson: With Heath Miller and David Johnson, Paulson won’t find himself playing for some time. Paulson is a more versatile tight end that has the ability to stretch the field and lineup in the backfield.
Round 7, Pick 246 Terrence Frederick: The cornerback out of Texas A&M is a risky pick as he doesn’t have the speed to cover wide outs on the outside. With the loss of William Gay, Frederick has the possibility in covering the slot receiver and play in zone defenses but the Steelers have better options.
Round 7, Pick 248 Kelvim Beachum: Pittsburgh ended the 2012 draft the same way they started, by drafting an offensive tackle. Beachum, an offensive tackle form Southern Methodist University, will probably start on the practice squad in order for him to build his strength and size. Beachum will give the Steelers the flexibility to move to guard and will make a solid player on the line in a couple of years.
Photo Credit: Daylife.com
About the Author
Written by Drew Karpen
I am a graduate from Clarion University. I am currently the beat reporter for WVU football at ovathletics.com. I work part time as a stringer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and as a producer at WJPA radio station. I also have my weekly column on ovathletics.com. I am from Pittsburgh and my favorite team is the Pirates.