Inevitably, it comes up in the post-pick meetings with the media, when GMs and coaches always seem to make the point that they were very surprised to get an opportunity to pick whomever they ended up picking. And so it was when Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin sat behind the microphones late Thursday night to try to talk about G David DeCastro without giggling.
But there is some evidence that the Steelers really didn’t believe they were going to have a chance to pick DeCastro.
All teams are permitted to bring in up to 30 players for pre-draft visits, and the Steelers took advantage of this by meeting with 28 prospects between March 30 and April 18. Among those 28 were five offensive linemen, but none of those five offensive linemen was named David DeCastro.
Now there’s no rule, official or unofficial, stating that a team is going to make its No. 1 pick from the list of players it brought in for pre-draft visits, but the Steelers’ recent history — at least the years encompassing Tomlin’s time as their coach — shows that they have brought in the guy they ended up taking on the first round. Kicking the tires one last time before buying the car, so to speak.
They didn’t do that with DeCastro, probably because they didn’t figure he would be there for the taking. But once DeCastro was, the Steelers wasted no time, maybe because they legitimately were surprised he was still there.
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