Kelvin Beachum Can Make A Huge Statement Sunday Against The Packers

When Kelvin Beachum took over the Pittsburgh Steelers starting left tackle job from Mike Adams following the loss in London to the Minnesota Vikings, I had my doubts as to whether or not he would be able to handle the position. Now, with two games remaining in the regular season, Beachum has a chance to possibly lock down the position for the foreseeable future.

Outside of the games against the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots, Beachum has been solid in pass protection. In fact, in the last five games that he’s started, the SMU product has allowed just one sack, two hits and four hurries in 182 pass blocking opportunities. If you subscribe to the pass blocking efficiency stat that Pro Football Focus developed, those last five starts equate to a 97% PBE number. To put that number into perspective, Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has a 96.6% PBE for the season.

On Sunday, Beachum will see quite a bit of Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who predominantly lines up on the right side of the defense. While Matthews has struggled a bit since coming back from a broken thumb, he’s still considered one of the better pass rushing 3-4 outside linebackers in the league. Should Beachum wind up keeping him away from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, it will be quite a statement for the former seventh-round draft pick.

At barely 6’3″, Beachum doesn’t have the traditional height of a starting left tackle, but thanks to his unique build that includes a short torso and long legs, he’s able to function well out in space. Beachum played left tackle all four years in college, so it’s not like the position is new to him. He has, however, finally adjusted to the speed of the game and improved not only his sets, but his punching ability in addition. He showed neither of those two attributes during the few snaps he received at left tackle during the preseason games as a rookie. In fact, he didn’t even look like he would make the 53 man roster out of training camp based on his play during the preseason.

Beachum is still not without his warts, however, as his run blocking needs improvement. However, being the smart and dedicated player that he is, I suspect that’s an area that he can make strides in. Should the Steelers offense finally get around to running the outside zone next season, he should excel in it.

Keep a close eye on Beachum against the Packers as I am sure he knows the spot can be his permanently if he plays like he has the last several weeks. In my opinion, it’s his lose right now.

In case you missed it, check out the break down of Beachum’s play last Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • JAMESH

    It would be nice not to even have to think about LT in this year’s draft. When Gilbert was drafted, there was talk that he should play G. I hope pre-conceived notions don’t prevent the coaching staff from at least trying DeCastro and Gilbert at the G spots with Beachum at LT, Pouncey at C, and Adams at RT.

  • Nolrog

    Beachum (at LT) or not, the line is still a weakspot on the team, that needs to be addressed. We can’t continue to go into every year with the line a ?.

  • Matt Manzo

    It’d be nice not to have to take an OT early. Are there any mid round OTs that stand out? I’d like to go WR, CB, S, in any order, early on.

  • Zachary Smith

    Great news.
    Once you have a QB and an LT you can just pick the most talented guy available in the first round.
    This offense can win, go get some playmakers on D

  • Zachary Smith

    Won’t downvote cause I just disagree.
    The line has been fine this year. Should be better next year, because it should be healthier and almost all the players will be a year closer to their prime. Scoring enough points and keeping Ben clean for a reasonable amount of time. He is always gonna take sacks.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I thought the same thing a couple weeks ago, but Bens sack numbers have gone done a lot. Cin- 1 Mia-3 (snow game) Bal- 0 Clev- 0 Det -1. Keep in mind the have been down in a couple of these games (Bal/Det) and had to throw the ball a lot.

  • Nolrog

    I agree that it would be nice not to take an OT early. I still believe that’s problematic (three #1s on the line, can we really pay them all and if we can, is it wise to tie up that much money on the OL?)
    We need more depth, because injuries have been a major problem (Beachum was supposed to back up everyone and he’s been starting a lot this year). He was a great pick in the 7th, that’s for sure. This weekend will tell a lot about his ability to man LT on a permanent basis.

  • Dale

    So it to put it in perspective, this puts us marginally ahead of the Browns? Great.

  • Zachary Smith

    At LT, other premier position is QB where steelers have a big advantage

  • Jollyrob68

    Yes, Juwan James Tenn 3rd round

  • Jollyrob68

    What do you guys think about trading for Miami’s Jonathan Martin?

  • Kevin Gobleck

    It would be so nice if we didn’t need to spend an early round draft pick on a LT

  • AndyR34

    Chris Scott II

  • Elijah Stevenson

    How about a punter ?