CHAMPAIGN IL - OCTOBER 02: Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes leads teammates including Justin Boren #65 Dan Herron #1 and Mike Adams #75 off the field during a game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on October 2 2010 in Champaign Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 24-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Despite his reported issues with speed rushers, as well as off-the-field concerns including testing positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine, if Mike Adams is anything, he's gutsy.
It was reported the Steelers had taken Adams off their draft board after news of his failed drug test broke. Adams hopped in a car and drove to Pittsburgh to talk to the Steelers, and own up to his mistake.
Such accountability and maturity, even in the face of a lack of both of those things, has to make one think twice in a flash-evaluation of the talented but underachieving tackle.
Clearly, he convinced the Steelers, who selected him with the 56th overall pick in the draft.
On the positive side, Adams is incredibly athletic, and has a classic frame for a tackle. He's battle tested, logging hundreds of snaps in the Big 10. On the negative, he was one of the "Tattoo Five" at Ohio State, leading to concerns about his judgement, and his 19 reps on the bench press at the Combine brings up questions of his dedication (Steelers first round pick, OG David DeCastro, did 34 reps).
In defense of him, people make mistakes, and if his greatest crime is smoking pot and selling crappy merchandise from a Bowl game, it's unlikely the FBI is tapping his phone. To savage him, a failed drug test at the Combine carries with it no excuse and is rightly branded as one of the dumbest things a draft prospect could do.
The situation is what it is. Adams may be in the doghouse in the eyes of some fans, but it's now the Steelers' doghouse. While offensive line coach Sean Kugler has to feel like a kid at Christmas, considering the Steelers selected two offensive linemen in the first two rounds of the draft for the first time in the modern era, with the closest equivalent being 1976, when they took a tight end, Bennie Cunningham, and a tackle, Ray Pinney.
The Steelers seemingly like to take high-risk, high-upside kinds of players in the second round, and 2012, as it sits now, doesn't appear to be any different - maybe a bit more extreme, maybe not. All they can do now is take Adams at his word, and work with him to get him ready to contribute to the revamped Steelers offensive line.