Kelvin Beachum was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ final selection of the 2012 NFL Draft with the 248th overall pick. Beachum was the last of four players the team took in the seventh round with CB Terrence Frederick, WR Toney Clemons and TE David Paulson being the other three. After the draft concluded, I gave the Steelers an A+ for their picks in an article you can see here. One player I was completely wrong about was Beachum, who I had as having the hardest chance at making the roster of any draft pick.
During the Preseason it looked like I would be right because Beachum struggled with blocking assignments and with penalties. With what he showed in those games I thought he had a better chance at making the practice squad rather than the 53 man roster.
The Steelers obviously saw something more in Beachum as he made the roster out of camp and ended up being a major contributor by the end of the season. With the Steelers being hit hard by injuries on the offensive line, Beachum was forced into the starting rotation at right tackle and did pretty well with his opportunity. As it stands right now, Beachum is the top backup to both guard and tackle positions and has been getting more and more snaps at center this offseason.
Beachum has gone from long shot to make the roster to someone the Steelers are going to be heavily relying on in only his second season in the NFL. The only problem with Beachum has nothing to do with his own play. It’s great that he is as versatile that he is but it’s pretty dangerous and borderline reckless for the team to go into the season with only Beachum as a true backup. Honestly, I hope Beachum doesn’t play at all in 2013 because that means the offensive line did the impossible and stayed healthy the entire season. That being said, the Steelers seem to go through offensive linemen like water every year which means Beachum could be starting at some point for the team.
The problem then becomes what happens if there are multiple injuries on the offensive line again?
The Steelers would be forced to start either an undrafted rookie in Mike Golic Jr., Mike Farrell or Nik Embernate or someone with no experience in John Malecki. Let’s not forget the lone veteran backup on the team, Guy Whimper, who is a glorified right tackle, if that, at this point in his career.
BREAKING NEWS: Starting right tackle Mike Adams currently hospitalized after being stabbed Saturday morning though is expected to make a full recovery. You can read the statement made by the Steelers via Steelers.com.
First of all, I want to send my prayers to Mike Adams and his family and let’s all hope he indeed makes a full recovery and suffers no ill effects going forward in his life.
To the Steelers side of things, with the loss of Max Starks this offseason, the team really has no room for major injuries to the offensive line. I am confident that Beachum could step in again and do an admirable job at right tackle but the problem now would be who backs him up?
Either way, I am completely comfortable in admitting I was wrong about Kelvin Beachum. This is why no matter if I don’t understand a pick the team makes at the time, I always give them the benefit of the doubt and wait to see how everything pans out.
Here’s hoping Beachum, and the rest of the team for that matter, continues to develop and get better to help the Steelers going forward.