Mike Adams

Draft Grades: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers take the smart, patient approach to the draft almost every year and it is one of the key reasons why they are perennial contenders. While other teams reach to fill needs, the Steelers sit back and wait for someone to fall into their lap.

This year was no different as the Steelers landed David DeCastro, who will step into an immediate starting role and should be a key piece to their offensive line for the next decade.

Mike Adams was a calculated risk in the 2nd round. He’s had a number of off-field issues, including a failed drug test at the combine, and on the field often looks lazy and disinterested. But the Steelers did their homework on Adams and apparently feel comfortable bringing him aboard. He perfectly fits the mold of the type of lineman they like, so if they can keep him motivated, he’ll be a steal.

I was surprised by the selection of Sean Spence because I’m not sure how he fits into the scheme in Pittsburgh. He’s sort of a strong safety/linebacker ‘tweener, which made him an ideal fit at weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense. But in Pittsburgh he’ll be forced to play inside. I have a hard time envisioning him as anything more than a special teams guy in Pittsburgh.

Alameda Ta’amu is another prospect who perfectly fits the Steelers scheme, but also comes with a lot of questions. Ta’amu is an elite talent, but can’t stay in football shape. He’s battled weight issues since high school and it’s tough to break those habits once you’ve reached this level.

Chris Rainey is an explosive offensive weapon. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers use him because they really haven’t had a player with his skill set in the Roethlisberger era.

Toney Clemons has the size the Steelers need at receiver, but he’s a longshot to make the final roster cuts.

I really like David Paulson but he’ll have a tough time finding a job in Pittsburgh. He’s a good fit for their offensive scheme, but Heath Miller and Leonard Pope already have two roster spots locked up. He’ll compete with Weslye Saunders for a job, but there’s no guarantee that either makes the final cuts.

Terrence Frederick will compete for a backup job with Cortez Allen, Walter McFadden and others.

Kelvin Beachum is a versatile lineman, which could help him earn one of the final spots on the offensive line. His upside may be limited, but he could carve out a career as a backup.

Overall, this was a fairly strong draft for the Steelers. They only landed one guy who projects as a guaranteed future starter (DeCastro), but Adams and Ta’amu have the upside to potentially develop into steals down the road.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Steelers 1 Comment

Steelers uncharacteristically gambling in draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers typically take a conservative approach to the draft, which has served them very well in years past. But they’re breaking the mold this year, and targeting players with a ton of upside who have fallen to due some off-field concerns.

The first gamble was with Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams, who failed multiple drug tests in college and failed another test at the combine. On top of the off-field concerns, Adams also shows inconsistent effort on the field. He has the size to dominate, but often does just enough to get by.

In the 4th round, the Steelers also gambled on Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu. While Ta’amu does not come with any major character concerns, he is still a risk due to issues with his weight. Ta’amu has played at 400 pounds at various points in his career and has never demonstrated the ability to keep his weight under control. In general, when guys can’t stay in shape in college they typically don’t turn things around once they’re collecting an NFL paycheck.

The Steelers are definitely in position to take these risks, but it is interesting that it seems to stray from their typical draft strategy.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Steelers 3 Comments

Lions looking to beef up offensive line through draft

The Detroit Lions are looking to improve their offensive line this offseason, and will apparently be looking for help from their incoming rookie class.

The Lions have already hosted three offensive linemen – Mike Adams, Kelechi Osemele and Brandon Brooks – for pre-draft visits.

Are the Lions targeting Mike Adams?

It’s worth noting that all three players tip the scales at a minimum of 320 pounds, indicating the Lions may be looking to beef up their line in an effort to improve their run blocking efforts, which ranked 22nd in the league according to Pro Football Focus in 2011.

Adams, who played left tackle at Ohio State, is a potential 1st-round target and could be their replacement for free agent Jeff Backus.

Osemele and Brooks are both projected to play guard at the next level, although it’s worth noting that Osemele did play left tackle at Iowa State.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Lions Comments Off

Redskins show interest in offensive linemen

According to Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft, the Washington Redskins have been showing some interest in offensive linemen at the combine.

The fact that the Redskins may consider an offensive lineman is not a surprise, but Martin and Adams are both 1st-round prospects. This interest could indicate a chance coming at right tackle.

Jamaal Brown is coming off another disappointing season and he hasn’t been himself since a hip injury in 2008. And despite signing a five-year contract last offseason, there is no guaranteed money remaining on the deal.

While there is no question that quarterback is still their main concern, this could be an alternative route if they can’t land Robert Griffin.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Redskins Comments Off

Mike Adams scouting report

Mike Adams OT Ohio State #75
Ht: 6’7″

Wt: 323

 
Strengths:
Elite size and strength. Prototypical left tackle. Has the size to engulf most defensive ends. An impressive natural athlete for the position. Strong fundamentals in pass protection. Has a nice study base to anchor against the bull rush. Quick out of his stance. Has excellent footwork and can easily slide outside with athletic edge rushers. Has the ability to easily get to the second level and beyond. Strong upper body allows him to get a good pop on smaller pass rushers, often tossing them aside with a quick jab. Has the size to dominate as a run blocker; does a nice job staying low despite his impressive height. Showed a steady improvement throughout his career.
Weaknesses:
Lacks the killer instinct; seems to be content to keep pass rushers at bay without ever finishing them off. Awareness is suspect; doesn’t always know what to do when not engaged immediately off the snap; needs to do a better job identifying when to slide over to help left guard when there isn’t an immediate threat on the outside. Suspended for five games for his role in Ohio State tattoo scandal. Suspended for two games in 2009 after being arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia; charges were late dropped. Suffered season-ending foot injury in 2008. Had shoulder surgery during 2008 offseason. Missed time in 2009 after undergoing knee surgery.
Comments:
In terms of his performance, there’s very little not to love about Adams game. Physically he has everything you could ask for in a left tackle, and he is generally fundamentally sound as well. The major flaw in his game, however, is the mental aspect. He simply doesn’t play like he wants to be great. He has the size to be a dominant force but he rarely finishes off his blocks, instead elected to do just enough to keep his man at bay. He consistently gets the job done, but you have to wonder what is holding him back from taking his game to the next level.
Videos:
2011 vs Illinois (video is of Mike Brewster, Adams is #75)
2011 vs Michigan 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments

All-Overrated “Team”

Here is my pre-Senior Bowl all-overrated “team.” It’s not exactly a full team because certain positions don’t have a truly overrated prospect… yet. Depending on the media’s reaction to the Senior Bowl and/or Combine, players could drop off the list, or earn their way onto the roster in the coming months.

QB Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M
Every year a quarterback or two see their stock inflated due to team needs. Tannehill is this year’s victim.
RB LaMichael James Oregon
James is an impressive athlete with speed to burn, but he isn’t an every-down back.
RB Chris Rainey Florida
Much like James, Rainey is heralded for his speed, but he will be limited to special teams duty in the NFL.
WR Alshon Jeffery South Carolina
There’s no denying Jeffery’s raw ability, but his inconsistency raises a big red flag.
WR Nick Toon Wisconsin
Toon was a productive college receiver who benefitted from Russell Wilson’s prescence in 2011. He’s a 3rd or 4th option in the NFL at best.
TE Coby Fleener Stanford
Fleener is my top rated tight end, but that’s exactly why he’s being overrated. He’s just the best of a mediocre class.
OT Jonathan Martin Stanford
Martin will be a fine pro, but not at left tackle. Anyone who falls for the hype will be moving him to the right side, or to guard, within three years.
OT Mike Adams Ohio State
Adams certainly looks the part, but he’s terribly soft and not especially quickon his feet.
DE Quinton Coples North Carolina
You can put together a highlight real that makes Coples look like a top-five pick… but you can’t find a single game where he shows it from start to finish.
DE Jack Crawford Penn State
Crawford never lived up to expectations at Penn State despite his impressive athleticism.
DT Alameda Ta’amu Washington
Ta’amu has the size to play nose tackle, which boosts his stock significantly, but he may not have the stamina to be a three-down lineman.
LB Zach Brown North Carolina
Brown is an athlete, but he’s undersized and will get pushed around by NFL linemen.
LB Bruce Irvin West Virginia
Irvin flashes elite athleticism at times, but he had to fight for playing time throughout his career due to inconsistent performances.
LB Vontaze Burfict Arizona State
Top-10 talent, undraftable character. Not worth the trouble.
CB Janoris Jenkins North Alabama
See above.
CB Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska
I have a hard time understanding where the 1st-round love for Dennard comes from. He’s a physical corner and his injury prone – a bad combo.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Saturday draft notes

- Potential top-10 pick Jerel Worthy of Michigan State needs to keep his emotions in check. He wasn’t shy about sharing his hatred for Michigan this past week – which is fine – but he clearly let it effect his play on the field. Worthy played out of control at times, and was called for at least one penalty (jumping offside and knocking down a Michigan lineman in the process). This isn’t something that will effect his draft stock, but it is something coaches and GMs may want to discuss with him during his pre-draft interviews.

- Boom Herron had a big game for Ohio State in his return from his suspension. He’s probably a 3rd or 4th round prospect because he lacks the elite size and speed to really stand out, but I like his chances of contributing at the next level. He’s patient, has great vision and is a surprisingly tough runner between the tackles considering his size. He’s sort of a cross between Ahmad Bradshaw and Justin Forsett.

- Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus had a nice game against Ohio State. Mike Adams was his toughest test of the year, and Mercilus beat him a few times with a variety of moves. He’s quick off the snap, but also showed that he had the strength to fight past Adams even when he didn’t beat him off the snap.

- As for Adams, it was a fairly disappointing performance. He has as much talent as any lineman in this class, but he just looks too soft at times. He seems to lack the mean streak necessary to dominate. He was also called for a costly penalty late in the 4th quarter which helped keep Illinois in the game.

- We have to wait another year before Tyrann Matthieu is draft-eligible, but Morris Claiborne could come out this year and he is looking like a potential top-15 pick. He does a great job turning to play the ball, rather than strictly reacting to the receiver. He made another nice play today against Tennessee where he essentially became the receiver, and nearly returned the pick for a touchdown.

- Trent Richardson continues to improve his draft stock. If you missed his big run against Ole Miss check it out on youtube. He is every bit as good as Adrian Peterson was coming out of college and should be a top-10 lock.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off