GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23: Center Maurkice Pouncey #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers lines up to hike the ball during their game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
A common perception of the last few Steelers' drafts was an alleged lack of attention paid to the offensive line.
RG David DeCastro will be one step from 2010 first round pick, C Maurkice Pouncey. The way it sits now, he'll be three steps from 2011 second-round draftee LT Marcus Gilbert. In fact, the Steelers are one of only two teams since 2000 (Philadelphia) to draft a guard twice in the first round (DeCastro and Kendall Simmons).
Assuming RT Willie Colon (one of the best right tackles in the game until his first of two consecutive season-ending injuries in 2010) can make a full recovery, you're looking at a potentially outstanding offensive line for the 2012 season.
I watched the draft with a few die-hard Vikings fans, and we were all collectively split on who the Vikings would take at No. 3. Then we heard they spooked Cleveland into swapping picks, forcing the Browns to essentially buy insurance against the Vikings making a deal with Tampa Bay, who was looking to acquire RB Trent Richardson with the third overall pick.
In the end, the Vikings took LT Matt Kalil, a guy with a multiplying effect on Minnesota's offensive line. It allows them to shift former LT Charlie Johnson to left guard, another position of need for them. In that, C John Sullivan will have more help to his left than he did.
DeCastro will have maybe even just as much a profound effect on the Steelers offensive line. In my excitement, I told my Vikings fan friends "for as bad as Johnson was for you, that was Chris Kemoeatu at left guard for the Steelers."
My opinion was quickly dismissed, and I won't push the statement further. The point is, the Steelers' decisiveness in repairing a maligned offensive line with what could be the most impacting draft pick they've made since QB Ben Roethlisberger is another high-profile (in a loose sense of the term) pick at a position many viewed as one of little regard in Pittsburgh.
Two first rounders and a second rounder (with a pair of second and third round picks still to come) in the last three drafts shows the offensive line clearly is a unit of interest with the Steelers.