The NFL is taking the draft on the road this year, with Chicago being the venue of choice for 2015, as that day approaches, the Steel Curtain Rising is focusing on the Steelers needs, and today guard finds itself at the center of the spotlight.
Analyzing Steelers Depth at Guard – The Starters
Amoung the names of the Steelers 2009 rookie free agent class was that of Ramon Foster, a little known guard out of Tennessee. Before the 2009 season ended, Ramon Foster was starting having started 4 total games by season’s end. Foster started 8 more games in 2010, including Super Bowl XLV and established himself as a full time starter in 2011.
However, Foster appeared to be the odd man out in 2012 as the Steelers drafted David DeCastro and moved Willie Colon to guard. However, injuries ruined both DeCastro and Colon’s seasons, leaving Foster as the last man standing. The Steelers recognized that, resigned Foster signaling the end of Colon’s time in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers didn’t go into the 2012 NFL Draft “looking” for a guard, but when David DeCastro fell to them, they wasted little time and scooping him up. While the aforementioned injuries limited DeCastro’s rookie year, he started a full year in 2013 and by the time 2014 was in full swing, DeCastro was quietly making himself into one of the NFL’s top guards.
The other nice thing about DeCastro, is that he’s got a streak of “nasty” to him, as one Carolina Panther found out when he tried to harass a one of DeCastro’s teammates.
Analyzing Steelers Depth at Guard – the Back Ups
Chris Hubbard joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013. Hubbard got cut at the end of training camp but returned to the practice squad. Hubbard made the Steelers final 53 man roster in 2014 but did not dress for a single game.
Beyond Hubbard, the Steelers also have Cody Wallace, who started two games at guard, but also does double duty in backing up center.
Priority Status of Guard for Steelers in 2015 NFL Draft
The Steelers have two solid guards one proven back up and one untested back up. As the 2013 Steelers learned, when you play with depth on offensive line, you play with fire. Guard might not represent an urgent need in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers draft priority status for guard in 2015 should be considered as moderate.