Dusting Off The Kevin Zeitler vs. David DeCastro File

June 12, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard David DeCastro (66) participates in drills during minicamp at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

It was a forgone conclusion (by many) during the predraft process that the Cincinnati Bengals were going to use one of their two first-round draft picks on Stanford Guard David DeCastro. Wrong. Though the team had DeCastro and Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler ranked equally, the team saw a solution that could impact the defensive line as well. After selecting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick at No. 17, the Bengals swapped first-round picks with the New England Patriots and picked up an extra third-round selection. DeCastro was taken off the board at No. 24 by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Bengals used their recently acquired No. 27 pick to select Kevin Zeitler and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson the following day.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that DeCastro isn't having nearly as smooth a transition in the NFL as Zeitler, who was announced as the Bengals starting right guard on Monday when the depth chart was finally released. DeCastro is working with Pittsburgh's first-team unit at right guard because Ramon Foster shifted to left guard, replacing Willie Colon who suffered a sprained ankle.

But one thing is certain, DeCastro has not won the job at right guard over Foster, and Foster has been determined to keep it that way.

"You don't want to just passively give away your starting role," Foster said. "This is a world championship team, you want to be a guy starting on that team. We're both going to get better no matter who wins the job. We'll just handle that at the end of camp.

"Is there a sense of urgency? Definitely. I think it's there for Dave, too."

DeCastro has struggled through the first 10 days of his first pro training camp, and Foster has done nothing but improve. They are worlds apart in their resumes, Foster having played tackle at Tennessee and gone undrafted. Nevertheless, Foster also has turned mentor to the guy who wants his job.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about DeCastro.

"I talked to him the other day," Roethlisberger said. "I said, ‘How you doing? Evaluate yourself.’ "He said it’s different. I said what do you mean? He said it’s tough. I said what’s the tough part, the mental or the physical? He said, ‘The mental part I got. The physical is a lot tougher. These guys are really good.’"

(h/t Jamison Hensley)

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