STEELERS - WEDNESDAY
PITTSBURGH -- The player who nearly was Mr. Irrelevant this year suddenly has become Mr. Indispensable for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kelvin Beachum, the last of the Steelers' four seventh-round picks during the NFL Draft this past spring, was the 248th overall selection. Only a handful of players were drafted later than the 6-foot-3, 306-pound Beachum. The final pick, which was 253rd overall, is termed Mr. Irrelevant.
"I had no idea who was going to draft me until the Steelers called, so I was just waiting for that call to come,'' Beachum said. "There had been a couple teams who called me and talked about maybe signing me after the draft.
"I really don't remember who those teams were, but I was confident that I'd get drafted. And fortunately, I got drafted by a good team.''
After injuries to the Steelers' past two second-round picks, Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams, Beachum was pressed into a starting role at right offensive tackle. Beachum's first NFL start came on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, and he'll get another opportunity against the San Diego Chargers Sunday at 1 p.m. at Heinz Field.
"I got a ton of advice from our veterans,'' Beachum said. "Some guys had their first starts against the Ravens (Willie Colon and Ramon Foster), and they've had some success against them. So, they had some good input going into the game. And as we all saw, things worked out pretty well for us down there.''
A Texas native, Beachum played collegiately at SMU. The Mustangs offered him a scholarship, along with Iowa State and Division I-AA schools Stephen A. Austin and West Texas A&M.
Cornering the Market