With their final pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected OG Kelvin Beachum of SMU to finish off their offensive line rebuild.
Beachum was a redshirt freshman but started every game throughout the rest of his time at SMU. He is undersized compared to most professional offensive tackles, but improved steadily in college, displaying the kind of athletic ability, body control and footwork that will make him a late-round draft pick. Beachum has significant strength deficiencies; his ability to physically develop as a rookie will likely determine whether he’ll have a future in the NFL.
Beachum is very quick off the ball and plays with an obvious sense of urgency. He has a good first step that allows him to get out in front and gain position. When working upfield, he has very impressive short-area quickness and footwork. He is able to adjust against moving linebackers, and he did well in the limited time he spent working in space. Beachum shows smooth, controlled lateral agility when engaging his pass set.
Beachum is a soft prospect. He comes off the ball and moves quickly, but he is not explosive and has a hard time generating push on his man off the snap. He struggles in the run-blocking game, which doesn’t bode well for his development and projected move inside to guard. SMU’s style didn’t offer many chances to show that he can perform in a classic run-blocking scheme, and NFL teams will have to guess whether he can successfully make that positional shift. Beachum is a mirror and patty-cake blocker who was effective and productive at SMU; whether his skills transfer to the NFL is another question.