The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum in the seventh round of the NFL draft this past April with hopes of making him a left side reserve guard/tackle, but so far through two preseason games, Beachum is struggling at both positions.
Beachum is not only struggling with his blocking assignments, but with penalties as well, as his 5 penalties lead the Steelers through two preseason games. In his first NFL preseason action against the Philadelphia Eagles, Beachum was flagged three times in total and Sunday night in the Steelers 26-24 win against the Indianapolis Colts he added two more. Of his 5 penalties, 4 have been for holding with the remaining one being for a false start.
Maybe it is the No. 68 jersey that previously belonged to long-time left guard Chris Kemoeatu that is causing the problems for the former SMU left tackle, who doesn\’t seem to be making the transition to left guard very well through the first two games. The guard spot is entirely new to him after he played solely at left tackle during his college career.
Because of his 6 foot, 3 inch size, Beachum is too small to be an NFL left tackle and his lack of core strength (19 reps of 225) and explosion it is making it hard for him to excel thus far at both left guard and left tackle. The addition of the penalties is also making him a liability when he is in the game.
In two games now, Beachum has been outplayed by his backup Ryan Lee at the left guard position and it will be hard for the Steelers to ignore giving Lee more snaps next week with the second team as a result. Lee plays much stronger on tape than Beachum has thus far and Lee also appears to move much better in tight areas in addition. Even more importantly, Lee has yet to be penalized.
While a spot on the 53 man roster appears to be out the question right now for Beachum, he still has two preseason games left to make an improvement and be considered for a spot on the Steelers practice squad. If I were him, I would ask if I could switch numbers from No. 68 to No. 72. Oh wait, that belonged to Jonathan Scott. Never mind. Perhaps he just needs to focus more on technique and execution instead.