It might be a while until we find out whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers will be able to re-sign tackle Kelvin Beachum. However, if the team’s former seventh-round draft pick is back with the team in 2016, Tomlin didn’t discount the possibility of him player guard during his end of the season press conference.
“Beachum’s played guard and center in the past,” said Tomlin when asked Wednesday if the SMU product can play the guard position. “He’s a smart, talented, driven guy. There would be very little that I would say that he couldn’t do in terms of offensive line play.”
Beachum, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year, is currently rehabbing a left knee injury that he suffered midway through the 2015 season that ultimately required surgery and him be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.
While it’s true that Beachum has played some guard and center during his time in Pittsburgh, he hasn’t logged many regular season snaps at either of the two spots as he has been the team’s starting left tackle since Week 5 of the 2013 season.
Should the Steelers ultimately wind up re-signing Beachum, it would be with the goal of him being a starter again in 2016. Additionally, if is re-signed to play guard, it would probably be on the left side and that would mean that Ramon Foster might not be back as he is also scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in a few more months.
Once Beachum went down injured this season, former undrafted free agent Alejandro Villanueva became the team’s starting left tackle. While the former Army captain did have some warts initially after taking over as the team’s blindside protector, he played increasingly better as the season wore on. Did he do enough to retain the starting left tackle job? We’ll find out in the coming months.
Personally, I think Beachum is a much better tackle than he is an interior player and the tape says the same thing. We’ll have to wait and see what the organization ultimately thinks about him. He’s the kind of player you want on your team and in your locker room, so hopefully the Steelers can find a way to bring him back for a few more years.