Steelers Add More to the O-Line with Ohio State’s Mike Adams in Round Two

The Steelers continued to shore up their offensive line on Friday night, as with their second round pick they took offensive tackle Mike Adams from Ohio State.

Adams has had issues at OSU, as he was part of the memorabilia scandal, and was caught a couple times with pot, including when he was at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Nevertheless, he’s 6’8 – 320 lbs, and gives the Steelers more youth on the O-line.

Scouting Report on Adams:

Mike Adams has been suspended for seven games in his collegiate career. That fact may ultimately hurt his draft stock with some teams, but his pro potential is very good despite being a raw prospect.

Given his elite height and size, Adams certainly passes the eyeball test as a pro prospect. He is the prototypical left tackle prospect who really excels with his footwork and has the talent to improve his technique. Adams will need to grow as a run blocker. He lacks that killer instinct offensive line coaches fall in love with. He will need to correct his techniques as a zone blocker as he sometimes loses his assignment and gets lost out in open space.

The most promising facets to Adams’ skill-set are his frame and good feet. He may need an extra year to develop or grow into the position as a rookie, but most every team in the NFL is willing to be patient with a guy his size.

Adams has mixed scouting reviews. Some feel he may never amount to anything more than a solid backup and others list him as a first round pick. Keep an eye on his draft stock as it may become volatile.

ROB RANG’S TOP 50 PLAYERS OF THE 2012 NFL DRAFT: 41. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: At 6-7 and 323 pounds, Adams certainly looks the part of an NFL offensive tackle. He’s flashed the ability to dominate while playing left tackle for the Buckeyes and has the light feet and long arms to remain at this all-important position in the NFL. Inconsistency, injuries and poor off-field decisions have marred what should have been a noteworthy career at Ohio State and as such I have reservations that Adams’ pro career, like his collegiate one, could leave his team wanting more. – Rob Rang,

At this point Adams lacks the great technique that would make him a reliable left tackle to protect a right-handed quarterback’s blind side. Given time he certainly could learn. Meantime, Adams already moves well enough to get into linebackers on the second level. He has a substantial frame with conspicuous muscle in the right places and the footwork of a dancer, albeit more like hip hop than ballet. On film he did well handling Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt (drafted No. 11 overall by Texas last year), but was befuddled by the nifty moves of Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan (drafted No. 16 overall by Washington last year). In his final two seasons as a starter, Adams had issues on and off the field.

About the Author

Matt Loede
Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

17 Comments on "Steelers Add More to the O-Line with Ohio State’s Mike Adams in Round Two"

  1. One has to wonder why they took a player with a checkered past. I understand that Adams must have ranked high on their draft board but the off the field issues should concern any Steeler fan at this point. Did improve the overall talent level on a line that protects the teams most prized possession. Just please don’t forget the other side of the ball in the following rounds. Unless of course they plan to play the second and third year players that much more.

  2. The last time the Steelers drafted a dope-smoker with questionable off-field problems from Ohio State –read Santonio Holmes– they got burned, or “burnt” if you will.

    Add to that the 2008 draft, where they wasted their entire draft on guestionable picks the likes of Mendenhall, Sweed, Bruce Davis, Dixon, and Hills. All all major flops.

    Makes me wonder if Mike Tomlin needs to be removed from the draft day decision making process altogether?

    • The Steelers have had more pro bowlers drafted in the last 5 years than any team other than the Pats so Tomlin must be doing something right (assuming someone actually believes he is the GM instead of Colbert)

    • Can’t put it all on Tomlin when it comes to picks that didn’t pan out. Don’t think that’s a fair assessment. Colbert and the respective scouts also play a large part in making these selections. Or at the very least, the correct assessment of the skill set of the prospects and their future projection at the NFL level. But that’s another topic. Having said that, you are right that they really missed on many of those picks. Let’s hope we avoid the same results this year. Still a lot of picks to go.

    • Can’t believe no one actually responded to the content of your post.

      Santanio Holmes, the super bowl MVP, was a flop?

      Mendenhall is a flop?


      • Are you a woman? There’s no way any man can read into what I wrote that Holmes was a flop. You’re reacting emotionally to the fact I said the Steelers got “burnt” by him, much the way a chick responds to their boy friend saying he likes her hair long. Santonio Holmes is poison, look at the trouble he is causing in the Jets locker room.

        As for Mendenhall being a flop, he can’t block –so he’s a two-down back, combine that with the fact that he’s a non factor as a receiver, and he only averages 4.1 yards per carry, I find it hard to classify him as a success. The way he dances around in the back field then falls to the ground upon first contact is a drive killer for the Steelers offence. He has a grand total of eight 100-yard games in three years as a starter, they need more production from a first-round “Feature Back.”

        By the way, I can’t believe “no one” actually ever taught you grammar.

  3. I think the Steelers wanted to use the #2 pick on a quality defensive lineman, but when the #56 pick came up in Round 2, the top graded D-linemen on their boards were gone. So they rolled the dice on Mike Adams, the best available player, because he is physically a first-round quality, “freak of nature” OT. Potentially, he could be an All-Pro. However, any player who uses pot before the combine, knowing he will be drug tested, shows a dismal lack of judgment. So, Adams could just as easily be a bust, another S. Holmes. The Steelers obviously thought his potential was worth taking that chance. The decision was undoubtedly shared by Colbert, Tomlin and Rooney, Jr. They are betting that they can discipline Adams and keep him clean. If they are right, the Steelers offensive line will go from average to dominating in a year. But if they are wrong and Adams tanks, they tossed away a #2 pick for nothing.

    Whether the thinking on Adams proves right or wrong, the issues on the D-line remain. We still don’t have the talent for a consistent pass rush, which will allow opposing QBs to continue to pick apart our secondary. We also lack a run stuffer in the middle. Ziggy Hood is not a young Hampton, and Hampton himself is no longer a force. Keisel and Heyward cannot do it alone. Quality D-line talent (NG, DE) will not be available in the late draft or in free agency; those guys are rare. Using the Round 3 pick on an OLB did nothing to address either problem. For those reasons, it looks like a long season ahead in 2012 for the Steelers defense, because LeBeau simply lacks the talent to plug all the holes.

    • Well said, his weedy indiscretion not only shows a “dismal lack of judgment” on his part, but also reveals a disturbing degree of immaturity. Couple that with his lack of respect for NCAA rules regarding compensation, and this has the potential as a major mistake.

  4. Mike Adams made a mistake . Show me a kid in his twenties who hasnt . I’m not condoning for a second what he did . Getting a positive test for smoking pot at the NFL combine of all places , is about as dumb as you can get . However , the kid did one key thing , he owned up to his mistake . He didnt run from it . He didnt have to request a meeting with Colbert , Tomlin and Art Rooney but he knew he screwed up and he wanted to make it right . Bottom line , if this kid learns from his mistake , you have a corner stone left tackle for the next ten years . Thats why the Steelers made the pick .

    • My guess is that the only reason he owned up to the stupid mistake was because it was costing him millions. He dropped from a mid first round pick to the second round. Having said that, it would be another steal for the Steelers if Adams does clean up his act and plays like he can. From whatI read and hear, Spense is a nice player with great athleticism but I see a bigger need at other spots on the defense.

  5. Let’s not forget Doc, the Steelers did have the #1 ranked pass defense last year. And overall they ranked in the top 5. Our lasting image from last year will be getting Tebowed so i get that the perception is the Steelers pass defense is terrible. My question is, who’s pass defense do you want? That said, we need to shore up the defensive line, especially in the middle…

    • Statistics can be misleading, Peter. Our defensive stats were built on the bodies of inferior teams in 2011. When it counted last year, our defense couldn’t stop the run or the pass against quality teams. It began with the Super Bowl loss, when G. Bay ran over us as well as passing through us, 31-25. The Ravens gouged us twice, home and away. Houston handled us 17-10. S. Fran. 20-3. And the Debacle in Denver 29-23 in OT everyone saw. That’s what I’m talking about. When it counted, our D could not stop good teams in 2011.

      If we can’t get more pressure on opposing QBs in 2012 and if we allow them 5-6 seconds to throw (as we did last year), we’re going to get torched. And our two new guys on defense — Spence, a 5’11” OLB and Ta’amu at NG — may be good, but they are not going to improve the pass rush. Ta’amu should help us against the run, so I am partly mollified by that. But, so far, I haven’t seen us land the talent to improve the pass rush or to improve our man-on-man coverage. We need more speed on D.

  6. Adams is a stellar first round talent that can potentially be an All-Pro LT. Even with his size, if he even turns out to be like Max Starks, also 6’8, I would say its a win for the Steelers. NT is a clear need which I’m sure we will address shortly saturday. Nick Jean Babptist The NT from Baylor would be a nice fit. I dont really hate the Sam Spence pick, he can blitz and is good in coverage, maybe he could be converted to ILB, not sure exactly what the plans are for him, but we shall see. Overall, with all 3 of the picks, I would say the steelers have done quite well addressing 2 major needs.

  7. I think this was one of the best drafts they have had in a while. oth Castro and Adams will be starters, Spence is a beast at LB, Chris Rainey in the 5th round??? How he fell that far is beyond me but he adds rare speed and excellent hands to the backfield and has anyone seen the tape on DT Auaamu or however u spell his name…he has the talent of Su but minus the character issues. Great draft….This is gonna b a great season.

  8. blackNgold4life | April 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply

    Yeah those pass defence stats are definitely misleading.. look at the 3rd dwn stat..the defense couldn’t get off the field on 3rd and longs.. but part of that was to a sub par pass rush..QBs had waaaay too much time to throw the ball. Even QBs like Dalton and Fitzpatrick..we don’t have athletic DEs and no push up the middle.. every team knows if u spread the Steelers with 4 or 5 WR you gona have success. I keep saying its time out for that 3-4 scheam..We don’t have the talent up front like in past years.

  9. blackNgold4life | April 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply

    All that being said..I think the draft was a success, Offensively.. Nice pick up at NT..still think we need some JJ Wyatt types at the DE spots..Ziggy is basically a NT playing out of position..Hayward is yet to prove himself..could have also used a CB that can actually play Man to Man..Maybe ours can but you would never know because coach Dick always has them 15 yards off the ball..even on 3rd and less then 10..Ike can’t do it alone.

  10. I was very surprised the Steelers drafter Mr.Adams. With his off the field issues with drugs and the incident at the columbine I thought for sure the Rooney’s wouldn’t approve of this pick. All I can say though is I hope he lives up to his potential and helps the Steelers out because their offensive line is very unstable.

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