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Prospect Watch: Mike Adams

Written by Dan Gigler on .

An occasional look at potential 2012 NFL Draft picks for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Previous installments featured Memphis DT Dontari Poe, Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu, Georgia OL Cordy Glenn and Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower. Today: Ohio State OT Mike Adams ...

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Though the Steelers ostensibly have their starting tackle positions penciled in for 2012 with second-year man Marcus Gilbert moving to protect Big Ben's blind side and Willie Colon hoping to make it through a game -- let alone a season -- for the first time in a few years.

Given Colon's lack of durability, a lack of depth at the position and the simple fact that the Steelers are paying over $100 million to an exceptionally talented quarterback who by some miracle isn't in a vegetative state given the abuse he's taken over the years (314 career sacks!), continuing to bolster the offensive line might be a good idea.

To that end, this is a better-than-average draft for tackles and a number of mock drafts seem to suggest that Ohio State's Mike Adams will be available when the Steelers pick at no. 24. At 6' 7" 320+ pounds, Adams is a gigantic human being that moves around quite well. The NFL Network's Mike Mayock has Adams as the No. 4 tackle in the draft and the National Football Post has him at No. 2.

So a good fit, right?

Not quite. There's the minor matter of multiple suspensions while at Ohio State including being part of the "tattoo scandal" that brought down coach Jim Tressel. However, to hear Adams' side of things, its not at all nefarious and fairly easily forgiveable. 

Adams had great Senior Bowl week, followed up by a very pedestrian combine showing, but then he killed it on Ohio State's pro day in front of bevy of Steelers personnel. Consistency may be an issue with him. He kind of puts you in mind of Max Starks: great size but not exceptionally strong, but with good movement and technique.

Here are excerpts of what the experts are saying about Adams:

NFL.com: Strengths ... He employs a decent pass set to get back and anchor himself against the bull rush, and has the footwork to shuffle and keep his feet chopping when blocking to drive a man downfield in the run game ...  Weaknesses ... He is more of a catch-and-react blocker than one who delivers blows, and will need to play with more fire and look to unleash his inner-athleticism to be able to succeed at the next level ...

National Football Post: A tall, long armed, athletically built offensive tackle. Displays good initial quickness off the snap in the pass game. Demonstrates the ability to keep his base down on his initial power step off the line from a two-point stance, but will bend at the waist and get upright when asked to play from a three point stance. ... Struggles with balance and footwork at times, gets overextended when trying to shuffle and slide on a counter. Needs to continue to clean up his lower half technique and do a better job staying more compact and balanced when changing directions. ... Is an athletic kid who has a burst off the football and when he keeps his pad level own he can create a jolt. At times will get upright which negates his leverage, but does have some in-line power. Is at his best crashing down the line inside and delivering a nasty punch in order to seal the edge. ... Impression: He's a talented kid with a big frame, long arms and natural movement skills. He can bend and if he can put it all together and continue to improve his footwork he could certainly mature into a starting caliber left tackle in the NFL.

CBS: Pass blocking: Tall, long, athletic pass protector. Generally gets out of three-point stance with good knee bend and a wide base. Improving his ability to use his hands to redirect rushers and late blitzers away from the pocket. Power rushers lose most battles ... Run blocking: Solid positional run blocker who flashes the nasty demeanor and killer instinct scouts covet. ... Height can be a detriment in short-yardage, defender can get under his pads to hold the line. Flashes the ability to move his man with his hands, but is not yet consistent in this area ... Initial Quickness: Excellent quick-twitch movement off the snap in pass protection and as a run blocker. Finds defenders with his hands immediately and gets feet moving to engage and sustain. Can be beat off the edge coming out of his stance lunging to reach speedy wide rushers ... Downfield: Quick out of his stance with the footwork to be effective in front of screens. Willing to get out in front of ballcarriers to take out defensive backs and linebackers ...

There isn't much film available of Adams from the 2011 season -- remember he was suspended for five games -- but there is plenty from the 2010 season. The first is a very thorough breakdown of of positive and negative plays from three big games -- Wisconsin, Iowa and the Sugar Bowl vs. Arkansas. The second is a quick hitter of highlights from the Sugar Bowl.

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