Name: Mike Adams
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Ohio State
Weight: 325 pounds
The offensive line has been a big issue with the Steelers for the last few years. Thankfully, with drafting of C Maurkice Pouncey and OT Marcus Gilbert, the overhaul has begun, but there is still some work to do.
The last two years haven't been kind to Willie Colon. He tore his Achilles tendon in 2010, causing him to miss the entire season. In the first game of 2011 he tore his triceps and again was forced to miss another year.
The Steelers cut OT Max Starks in training camp of 2011, only to re-sign him before Week 5. Starks took the left tackle spot from that point on, and outside of a weak performance in Week 15 at San Francisco, Starks played well in 2011.
However, Starks tore his ACL in the playoff loss to Denver and probably won't be ready for the start of the 2012 season. Given that injury, and his free agent status, it's unlikely the Steelers will see Starks back at the start of the season.
That makes it necessary for the Steelers to do their due diligence with regards to the tackle prospects in this draft. Unfortunately this is a fairly weak tackle class so unless they take one in the first two rounds they probably won't take one at all. And unless they trade up in the first round there will really only be one option for them; Ohio State's Mike Adams.
Pros: Mike Adams biggest asset is his run blocking. He uses his size advantage well in pushing back defenders off of the line of scrimmage. He is one of, if not the best run-blocking tackle in his draft class. Unlike a lot of guys with his massive body frame Adams has never experienced any weight issues.
Cons: The biggest issue with Mike Adams is his ability, or lack thereof, to handle speed rushers as is typical of tackles that are as big as he is. It's plagued him his entire career at Ohio State and was evident at the Senior Bowl as well. As such most teams will be looking at him as a right tackle only, with the potential to play left tackle at some point in the future with the right coaching.
Draft Stock: We've seen Mike Adams draft stock fluctuate throughout the entire college season. He was originally projected to go in the first round before he was suspended for the first five games as one of many Ohio State players who accepted improper benefits. He played well upon his return in 2011, thus keeping his stock healthy.
Adams is a dominant run-blocker, but struggled against speed pass rushers off the edge. Miami is need of a tackle, but they aren't likely to take Adams with the No. 9 overall pick. They could trade down, but the earliest I see Adams being drafted is No. 16 by the Jets. The most likely scenario is Chicago taking him at 19. From that point he could really go anywhere in the latter half of the first round and possibly slide to the top half of day two.
Final Word: Adams could start at right tackle from day one and could be groomed to play left tackle within a year or two. The Steelers plan to move Gilbert to left tackle, and in the event of another Colon injury, Adams would fill a big hole at right tackle. Even still he wouldn't be my first choice for the 24th pick in the draft but I wouldn't mind him as long as other targets such as Dont'a Hightower, Cordy Glenn, Peter Konz, and Dontari Poe were all already off of the board.
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