Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan told the media at the NFL Scouting Combine that he would like to add a left tackle in the offseason. And less than a week later when free agency commenced, the Green & White set their sights on Kelvin Beachum.
"They made it very easy for me," said Beachum moments after signing with the Jets. "They came on strong from the get-go and made their demands known pretty early on in the process. They had a plan. My agent was working with them pretty closely after the Combine and we found a way to get something done."
The 27-year-old has played almost every position on the offensive line throughout his five-year career, but he has spent the majority of his time at left tackle. Beachum started five games at RT for the Steelers his rookie year in 2012 before switching to LT the following season. Since, the SMU product made 48 starts protecting the quarterback's blind side from 2013-2016.
"I think it's helped me understand the game a lot better. I've seen the game from a lot of different perspectives," said Beachum, who appeared in 15 contests last season for Jacksonville. "I've played both tackles, a little bit of center, guard, and tight end. I've just learned different perspectives of how to approach and study the game. I'm excited to be able to play left tackle here and use those experiences to better myself as I continue to grow as a player."
The Texas native spent his first four years in Pittsburgh and said he loves "nasty" weather because he can tell who wants to be on the gridiron. The 6'3", 308-pound Beachum, originally a seventh-round pick, is an aggressor on the line.
"I get after people early on," he said. "I'm not a guy who likes the vertical set and wait for somebody to get to me. I want to get to you and start the fight early on, before you can get your feet started. I try to stop your feet. I feel as if an offensive tackle, if you can stop a defensive end's feet at some point during his rush, you have a very good chance at winning that rush."