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Do the Steelers Have Kelvin Beachum 2.0 on the Roster?

The Pittsburgh Steelers seemingly grabbed one of the steals of the 2012 NFL Draft by selecting Kelvin Beachum in the seventh round. I’ve admitted it before that I thought Beachum had no shot at making this team when he was drafted. Then Beachum proceeded to have a terrible Preseason which made him making the final roster even more surprising. Beachum was billed as the guy who could do anything on the offensive line and since being drafted, he’s done just that.

From center, to guard, to tackle, Beachum played wherever the team needed him to until finally settling in at left tackle. Though he’s not a top, franchise level left tackle, Beachum certainly holds his own and is one of the reasons the offensive line is improved. Honestly in my opinion I still think the team should try and find a top left tackle and kick Beachum inside to guard where I think he would be best. Either way you don’t normally find a guy capable of starting at every position on the offensive line in the seventh round.

During the draft process this offseason there was one guy I saw that looked almost exactly like Beachum as a player. Wesley Johnson was a player who was touted, like Beachum, as a guy who has had experience playing everywhere on the line though he was not expected to go that early in the draft. If available I thought the team would jump at the chance to take Johnson because of the success of Beachum. As soon as the team took Johnson in the fifth round I knew he would be making this roster no matter what.

Like with Beachum, the Steelers played Johnson primarily at center the entire Preseason to make sure he could be a capable solution at the position. Johnson’s lack of reps at any other position brought many people to believe he would not make the team based off the numbers. The team already has Maurkice Pouncey, Cody Wallace and Kelvin Beachum who can play center. What the team really needs are players who can play tackle and if they didn’t even give Johnson a shot to show what he could do there maybe they’d just try and stash him on the practice squad for a season.

Even with all that I always thought Johnson would find a way on to the roster though I did find it a bit surprising the team cut Guy Whimper. That leaves the team with Mike Adams as the only true tackle behind Beachum and Marcus Gilbert in case of injury. Sure Ramon Foster has also kicked out to tackle in his career but that again brings us to Johnson. I believe the team decided to keep Chris Hubbard, a guard, over the more versatile Whimper because of what Johnson could do.

It obviously wouldn’t be a perfect situation if the team was forced to start shuffling the offensive line, again, however don’t be surprised to see Wesley Johnson get his shot at tackle. Will he step up as well as Beachum did? I really hope everyone just stays healthy and we don’t even need to test it. I just won’t be surprised to see him out there if the worst does happen.

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