Rookie Kelvin Beachum Impresses In First NFL Start

While the spotlight is currently shining with good reason on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch following the improbable 23-20 win Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens, one player that isn\’t getting enough credit for his performance is rookie Kelvin Beachum, who made his first NFL start at right tackle in Baltimore with Mike Adams sidelined by an ankle injury.

The Steelers seventh-round draft pick out of SMU was saddled with the task of going up against outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Terrell Suggs during the game and he came away with flying colors, especially in the pass protection department.

Beachum, who struggled mightily in the preseason at both left tackle and left guard, ditched his reputation as a holder on Sunday and he controlled Kruger much better than Adams was able to do just two weeks ago.

Beachum was not without fault in the game, however, as he was charged with one sack, two quarterback hits, and one pressure on 39 drop backs, but his performance and technique was very even in nature.

Many will jump to the conclusion that the undersized tackle received quite a bit of help against the Ravens in the form of a running back or tight end chip, but that simply was not the case. I went back through the game and charted Beachum as only getting help from those two positions on 8 plays in total.

That help was not be design on one of those plays as running back Jonathan Dwyer bailed out Beachum when he was beat inside by Suggs for a pressure. On the sack that Beachum allowed to Arthur Jones, he had help from running back Isaac Redman, but he failed to use it well. When you watch the replay a few times it makes you wonder if the youngster was even expecting the help on the play. He over committed too far right and into Redman, which allowed Jones to circle back inside for the sack.

One of the chips that I included in my count came from Dwyer and it was a half attempted elbow that really provided no help other than the threat of it. On the touchdown pass to Heath Miller from Batch, Beachum had help to his right in the form of tight end David Paulson as the protection was designed to drift out to the left to accommodate the designed roll out by Batch on the play. It wasn\’t so much help as it was having an extra tackle beside him.

With Marcus Gilbert firmly planted on injured reserve and Adams expected to miss at least another game, Beachum showed against the Ravens that he is deserving of another start Sunday at Heinz Field against the San Diego Chargers.

We will have our full breakdown of the play of Steelers offensive line against the Ravens later this week, but I wanted to make sure that I designated one post specifically to him in the meantime.

  • Shelob9

    I was shocked by how well Beachum played. Long term do you think he’s more suited to play guard or tackle?

  • Ahmad

    I have to admit, Beachum put on his big boy pants this game and did a fine job.

  • Garrett Hunt

    I’m guessing the Steelers will keep him at tackle just because of the need there now and the near future. If Gilbert and Adams are the tackles of the future then that leaves Beachum and possibly Foster as serviceable back-ups. At least thats the way I see it in my mind, but hard to predict much in the nfl.

  • Matt Lipner

    I think he could develop into a good guard. Him and DeCastro are both intelligent, and Adams has the size to be a solid LT. Pouncey and Gilbert haven’t hit their peaks yet. The future of the offensive line is bright.

  • Chris Woods

    Gotta give Kevin Colbert and Shaun Kugs credit between Adams and Beachum 2 solid full time starter potential offensive lineman from this draft class great hits on this years draft.

  • steeltown

    I kind of think Beachum is basically a young Trai Essex, played Tackle in college like Essex, but will probably be a swing guy across the entire OLine

  • steeltown

    I agree with that, Beachum is a Tackle this season due to injuries but yea I think when Gilbert and Adams are healthy he’ll be a Foster type player, playing Guard but could be kicked out to Tackle if needed.

  • zyzak

    The sack he allowed was a coverage sack, QB had ball 5 seconds

  • steeltown

    Definitely could end up as a really solid draft, if DeCastro pans out as he should and Spence turns into the speed ILB that he looks capable of being, great draft

  • joewalsh

    we did good in pass pro, but our run blocking left a lot to be desired. but i’ll take it.

  • SteelersDepot

    you are thinking of the Kruger sack. Watch the other sack.

  • SteelersDepot

    You are thinking of the Kruger sack. watch the other one.

  • Garrett Hunt

    If Spence works out imagine the speed at ILB with him and Timmons!

  • GunsDontKillWoodleyKills

    I hope its safe to say he won’t be seeing the practice squad again

  • JT

    Paulson is also a steal for a 7th. 2 out of 4 for that round is great.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Always thought Legursky was a better center than guard, he actually did a pretty decent job in the SB against the Pack. Wonder where this leaves R. Foster once DeCastro is ready to go?

  • PoKey21

    I think Beachum may be the future at the Left Guard spot. I think hes better suited for guard, but it bodes well that he can handle the Tackle Spot too. The Steelers O-line in the next year or two, if all players stay healthy and continue to develop, will be one of the better Olines in the NFL. From Left to Right it will look like this: Adams, Beachum, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert. Thats a solid group of youngsters who can grow together and learn to control the line of scrimmage as a ONE as opposed to Five!

  • steeltown


  • dudek km

    Don’t forget 1st round pick DD. He will be a great guard for many years.

  • mokhkw

    Agree that Beachum did a great job, but as you pointed out – 1 sack, 2 hits & a pressure – he was credited with more mistakes than Cortez Allen was, who you listed as a “loser” in your winners and losers article.

    I think they were both tested for weaknesses by the Ravens and came through with solid performances in their 1st time starting for an extended period. Beachum was definitely the more surprising given his recent play, I expected Allen to be solid.