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LSU safety Jamal Adams could transform an NFL secondary

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The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t necessarily need to draft a safety, but some prospects are just too good to pass up. LSU safety Jamal Adams could be that kind of prospect as the 2017 NFL Draft rolls around.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2017 NFL Draft inches closer, and the NFL Scouting Combine is right around the corner, there are certain prospects who jump off the screen when you watch their game film. These are the type of players who you simply can’t pass up on if they are still available when it is your turn to make your pick.

One of those prospects is LSU safety Jamal Adams.

Adams is a ridiculous worker and leader, and his skill on the field is as desirable as it gets. In fact, some NFL Draft analysts have Adams slotted to certainly be a Top 10 pick. But that doesn’t mean players don’t fall on draft day.

Just two years ago Bud Dupree was slotted to be a Top 10 pick, but slid to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 22 pick in Round 1.

The Steelers don’t necessarily need a safety, after selecting Sean Davis in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Mike Mitchell is under contract through the 2018 season, but it is undeniable what Adams brings to a secondary and what a safety duo of Adams and Davis would look like for a Pittsburgh secondary.

A man can dream, right?

Before getting into those discussions, it is worth getting to know what kind of player Adams brings to a lucky NFL team.

If that wasn’t enough evidence just how good Adams is going to be at the next level, his NFL.com Draft Profile certainly speaks glowingly of the LSU defensive back.

Strengths

Natural-born leader of men. Well-built. Will not hesitate for one second as a hitter. Steps downhill looking to punish running backs to set a tone for defense. Toggles between patient and urgent in treks to the ball. Plays off blockers. Approaches target with open arms and wide, balanced base to limit escape routes. Intelligent field general. Gets secondary aligned properly. Plays with plus balance in coverage. Pattern reader who can digest combinations. Alert for misdirection keys from offense. Party crasher on screen plays. Can handle coverage responsibilities against tight ends. Five interceptions and two recovered fumbles over last two seasons at LSU. Special-teams terror as freshman and sophomore, notching 21 tackles. No penalties in 2016. Father, George, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 1984.

Weaknesses

Handsy and too willing to clamp onto receivers down the field. Hard-charging downhill, but a little stiff when asked to retreat. Long speed appears to be average on tape. Eyes drop when targets approach his area. Anticipation is average, limiting his range as a center-fielder. Will give away some interceptions due to drops. Slower coming to balance as tackler on bursting runners between the tackles. Desire to limit cutbacks leads to challenging play-side tackles. Doesn't pursue with expected vigor from across the field. Aggressiveness opens him up against play-action.