Steel City Underground

Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Kelvin Beachum
steelers.com

Steel City Underground is doing a series where we will break down each instance of double-dipping in the NFL draft during the Mike Tomlin area. By double-dipping we mean drafting two players of the same position. This has happened much more than most may think, which is detailed in the original article. We will be taking a look at the rosters prior to those players being drafted along with whatever happened with these players. 

The Players

The Steelers drafted two tackles in the 2015 NFL Draft: Mike Adams and Kelvin Beachum.

Fans were instantly excited about Adams. It might not have been as much for the player so much as fixing the offensive line. The Steelers were able to obtain guard David DeCastro in the first round, a player who slid way further down than any had expected. Adams, a former Ohio State standout, was thought to be a great addition in the second round but had character and injury problems coming out of college.

NFL.com didn’t have as elaborate of player draft profiles back then, but did have this to say about Adams:

“He is a rather un-exciting prospect who can do the job and has the frame for the next level, but is more of a backup option at first and would struggle if thrown into a starting role.”

Beachum, on the other hand, wasn’t highly thought of. Many didn’t think he could make the team, as the Steelers third seventh round pick of the draft. His NFL.com draft profile labeled him as undersized and on the cusp of being drafted:

“He is undersized for the position in the NFL, but he improved steadily throughout his career and displays the level of athletic ability, body control and footwork to be drafted in the late rounds of the draft. Beachum has significant strength deficiencies which are constantly evident in his play. His ability to physically develop within an NFL program in his first year will likely be the driving force of his football future.”

 

The Need

Ben Roethlisberger had been sacked a career-high 50 times during the 2011 season and had been hit 46, 47, and 46 times in the previous three. The Steelers spent a first round pick on Maurkice Pouncey in 2010, and a second rounder on Marcus Gilbert in 2011, but still had more work to do to keep Big Ben upright.

 

The Outcome

DeCastro was a big addition for the Steelers in the 2012 NFL Draft, but Pittsburgh still needed help at Ben’s blind spot on the left side. Adams and Beachum would enter the season competing with  Max Starks, Marcus Gilbert, and Chris Scott for a roster spot. Starks would soon be replaced as the starter by Adams, who would go on to start six games in his rookie season.

Beachum would also step in as a rookie, starting five games on the right side for an injured Marcus Gilbert.

Max Starks would leave in 2013, allowing Adams to become the starter. However, Adams would be benched after four games and ultimately lose his job to Beachum. Beachum would go on to become the Steelers starting left tackle through the 2015 season, while Adams would suffer various injuries and never regain his role. The latter was placed on PUP before the start of the 2015 season, and would not return. He was released in 2016, where Adams would sign with the Chicago Bears. He was placed on Injured Reserve at the end of the season and is currently a free agent.

Beachum was in the final year of his Steelers contract as the two teams negotiated a new deal. Kelvin would not get an agreement before the start of the regular season and was left in limbo as to his future with the team since Pittsburgh doesn’t negotiate while in-season. Unfortunately, the tackle tore his ACL midway through 2015 and was effectively replaced by Alejandro Villaneuva. Beachum would sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 2016 season, before getting released at the start of the 2017 offseason, but inking a contract with the New York Jets.

 





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