Miami Dolphins Draft 2012: 5 Reasons the Miami Dolphins Draft David DeCastro
There is a lot of debate about how the Miami Dolphins will spend their eighth overall draft pick, and one of the names that consistently pops up is guard David DeCastro.
There are mixed feelings on this pick by most fans, and there is plenty of hesitation over the benefit of drafting another offensive lineman.
Today, let's take a look at some of the reasons why the Dolphins will benefit from taking DeCastro with their first pick over some of the other names attached to this pick.
Jake Long and Mike Pouncey
Jake Long is 26 years old. Mike Pouncey is 22 years old. David DeCastro is also 22 years old. That puts three young, quality offensive linemen up front in a position to excel early and grow together.
Offensive linemen tend to have a long shelf life in the NFL so, if the Dolphins draft DeCastro and commit long-term to all three of these guys, they can have this offensive line set up for the next eight to 10 years.
It also helps that Richie Incognito is still young at 28 years old and, while a player with baggage, he's still very effective on that front line.
Even if DeCastro needs a year or two to become a Pro Bowl-caliber guard, these four pieces on the front line would make an immediate change in the right direction with plenty of room to grow.
Bringing in a quality guard will finally make that "A" gap (between center and guard) an attack option for the Dolphins' running backs.
Who benefits from a solid “A” gap?
It’s the physical, north-to-south running backs like Daniel Thomas.
Thomas may have had a lukewarm rookie season, but if he is the running back of Miami’s future, they’ll need to put the tools around him to help him succeed. David DeCastro with Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito in that interior makes rushing up the middle a better option than it was last year.
Thomas is still a bit raw as a running back. His form is questionable, and his vision is subpar. Improving the interior blocking will reduce the pile-ups in the middle that stuffed rushing attempts too often last season and give proper running holes to a guy still adjusting to being a full-time back.
Pass Protection for Matt Moore
If Matt Moore is the future, then Miami needs to focus on pass protection.
They couldn't protect Chad Henne with Brandon Marshall, so it's hard to make a convincing argument that this offensive line will do better with both those guys gone.
Moore has a great arm, but sometimes takes too long to make the read and throw. Investing in DeCastro takes them one step closer to creating a solid front that can hold that line a bit longer so Moore can make the read and throw at his pace.
DeCastro and his fellow linemen have made Stanford one of the best college teams in terms of sacks allowed over the past four years (as few as six total in 2010).
This is welcoming news for Miami, who has gotten progressively worse at giving up sacks since 2008 and looks across at players like Vince Wilfork, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams at least four times a year.
Of course, this can change at any moment, but presently it doesn't look like Vernon Carey will be rejoining the Dolphins in 2012.
This is actually a big deal in a lot of ways. Carey hasn't been the best offensive lineman in Miami's history, but he's been versatile and is a talent they'll need to replace immediately. The reason they moved Carey to right guard in the first place was because the team's options were terrible.
Now, they're minus the patch that made the hole okay in the first place. Drafting DeCastro will plug it up immediately, and let the Dolphins find some way to address other missing pieces with later picks or in free agency.
Right now, the Dolphins are possibly losing two starting offensive linemen from last season in Carey and Marc Colombo, and the only acquisition so far has been Artis Hicks. Without a good pick here, the Dolphins could be without a guard again in addition to no quality depth for injuries in 2012.
When you talk about DeCastro, a name that pops up often is Steve Hutchinson as his NFL comparison. Hutchinson is one of the best guards in the NFL over the past 10 years and has a resume to back it up.
The seven-time Pro Bowler has been a huge contributor on two different playoff teams. With his presence, he’s helped Shaun Alexander and Adrian Peterson earn two rushing titles, seven Pro Bowls and an NFL MVP. He’s also been to two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl with two teams that heavily leaned on the rush attack.
If Miami were to get anything resembling Hutchinson’s career in DeCastro, the Dolphins would be getting huge value out of this pick.