PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 04: Seventh round draft pick Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Pittsburgh Steelers works out during their rookie minicamp at the Pittsburgh Steelers South Side training facility on May 4, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Or at least not right away. If one was inclined to use the words and background of a player as a parallel to his future success on a football field, one would be really excited about Steelers seventh-round pick Kevin Beachum.
A Master's graduate from SMU, Beachum, who signed his rookie contract Wednesday, already drew a positive review from Steelers veteran OL Trai Essex, according to a great one-on-one interview with Steel City Insider publisher Jim Wexell.
Beachum finished his Master's degree in Liberal Studies from SMU this spring, after earning an undergraduate degree in Economics. So impressive was Beachum, he was chosen to deliver a speech to his graduating class.
"I talked about challenges, about testing your will," Beachum said. "It was pretty simple, real straightforward, just some different things I had encountered while I was getting the Master's, and then also some of the things I experienced in my childhood. I talked about my father a little bit."
Essex, a Northwestern graduate, advised Beachum to learn every position along the line, something he did, and is pretty much the reason, after eight years, he still collects a paycheck. Odds are pretty strong Essex won't be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but championships are not won without guys like Essex, who will study and work as hard as he can, making himself as valuable as possible.
Maybe Beachum is the next Essex; a pretty solid investment for a late seventh-round pick. His first hurdle will be making the now jammed Steelers offensive line unit. The selection of three linemen - Beachum, DeCastro and OT Mike Adams - along with the versatility and cap-friendly experience of Doug Legursky, Ramon Foster and Essex, Beachum has his work cut out for him, but having and doing the work isn't the issue with him.
He's just going to make it very hard for the Steelers to cut him.