Beachum Has More Than A Puncher’s Chance Of Succeeding In 2014

I haven’t researched it, but there can’t be many seventh-round draft picks over the course of the last decade that have started a season at the left tackle position. That’s a feat that Pittsburgh Steelers third-year offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum is attempting to accomplish this season and he’s well on his way to doing it.

Beachum is not only a former seventh-round draft pick, he also lacks the prototypical size of a starting left tackle as he measures in at only 6-3. However, what the SMU product lacks in size and pedigree, he makes up with his incredible work ethic and drive to be the best. That work ethic and drive was on full display last season when he took over the starting left tackle spot from Mike Adams in Week 6. He never relinquished the job.

During a radio interview this past week, new offensive line coach Mike Munchak spoke very highly of Beachum as it relates to him being the Steelers starting left tackle in 2014.

“Beachum, this will be his first year as a starter. [He’s] a very athletic, a very tough, physical, hard working football player that wants to be the best at his job,” said Munchak. “He’s a guy that everyone’s going to get to know real quickly here as he goes into this season.”

One person who already knows Beachum quite well is former Steelers offensive lineman and current radio color man Tunch Ilkin. Ilkin, much like Beachum, was an overachiever during his career and has worked on teaching the young offensive lineman how to properly punch ever since his rookie season. According to Friday report by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that tutelage will continue with Munchak’s blessing.

“He’s [Munchak] even mentioned having Tunch come in if we have extra time to do some extra work,” Beachum said. “He’s referred to it multiple times. Munch is about using every single resource possible to better you as a player and finding a way to succeed.”

With Munchak also being known as stickler for technique, it’s easy to understand why Beachum is excited about having him as his position coach and why he has more than a puncher’s chance of succeeding at left tackle for the Steelers in 2014 and beyond.

  • dgh57

    Beachum has two things needed to succeed at his position. One is he has what it takes between the ears and that’s a brain(intelligence) and the other is a heart or desire to succeed. Even though he doesn’t have the prototypical body of a LT he has those two things to help make up for it. Can’t say that about a certain 2nd round pick named Mike Adams!

  • blackandgoldBullion

    The Weakest link: The oft maligned Foster and Beachum performed adequately last year. Foster just plays all the time, doesn’t get paid much, you rarely hear from him, as he gives up just a few sacks, blocks okay, which is just fine. Beachum is overachieving and often giving Ben just enough time to get the quick passes off. No team can afford Pro-Bowlers at every position.

    With Munchack’s help, these guys will all improve and if these 2 remain the weakest link but still perform adequately, this O-line has a bright, bright future.

    Go Munchak!

  • Randy Neff

    LT is still for me the #1 question mark heading into camp. Still a stretch to say the position is locked down beyond 2014. We’ve seen players in the NFL step in and surprise with their play during the season, but then struggle to gain consistency in their play when annointed the starter the next season. When coordinators/players have a full offseason to break down their opponents, results can be very different. Can Beachum take it to the next level like he needs to ? Let’s hope so.

  • steeltown

    Oh I see what you did there Bryan… “Puncher’s Chance” clever dog you

  • Yiz

    Beachum performed better than Gilbert last year, so I disagree with him being one of the weakest links.

  • When he was drafted in the 7th round, I figured he was a project with no real opportunity to contribute. Figured he was a depth project at best. I’m glad he’s proven me wrong. No way you can not root for Beachum he has real heart. No matter what happens at LT or RT, Beachum will stick on this roster for a long time.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I’d say he has more than a chance since he has a track record at the position from last year. He’s smart and he has great feet. It will make up for his lack of size.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I have to admit when Beech made the 53 in his rookie year I remember saying..”HUH?”. He had a couple of bad preseason games leading up to the last cut yet he survived. Not only has he improved but Beech has shown he’s gonna stick his nose in there with some of the best pass rushers. Hard not to root for him. If Tunch and Coach Munchak can help him to get to that next level with his run blocking he might become a solid LT for some time to come.

  • charles

    Excellent post

  • charles

    Colbert has been putting some emphasis on drafting smart players. It would be great if that became his hallmark. How could someone not root for Beachum?

  • kadagan

    “I haven’t researched it, but there can’t be many seventh-round draft picks over the last decade that have started a season at the left tackle position”

    I did a little quick research, and I only found one 7th round pick to start at left tackle in 2014 (projected), that being Beachum of course. I did find two undrafted free agents who are slated to start in 2014 however. One of them is a pro bowler, Jason Peters, who will start for the Eagles. The other is Donald Penn of the Raiders.

    Great article though, I enjoyed reading it!

  • whisn

    Beach has exceeded expectations, will he max out as just a capable left tackle, or will he become one of the top at his position in the NFL? Intriguing! Personally i think with Munch’s help he can achieve the later. I’m also excited to see what Adams is like under Munch, he showed improvement in temperament and technique when counted upon, so on the surface of it, our Tackle positions could be locked down for the next ten years!

    Go Steelers!

  • Steel PAul

    Love the attitude and the story – 7th rounder makes good – but worried that Beachum will struggle against the NFL’s elite pass-rushers because of his size.

    If he can somehow hold his own against those guys . . . wow! Otherwise, we could be stuck with a player who would need help from game to game depending on who he’s up against.

  • Steel PAul

    Agreed. Gilbert is the weakest link, unless Adams plays.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    That ain’t saying much

  • Dewayne Braxton

    He won’t. This is the NFL. He will not get away with his diminutive size and lack of run blocking power.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Beachum should not be starting in the NFL. This truth will be revealed. Teams are not going to let the Steelers get way with it. Tonight’s game against the Eagles was the start.