MOBILE, Ala. — The day NFL teams won't have a need for big, athletic left tackles on their rosters is the day the league no longer exists.
Advantage, Mike Adams.
Watch a week of practices here and some players are bound to get lost in the shuffle. Adams? At a reported 6-7 and 323 pounds, the Ohio State left tackle is impossible to miss.
So is his potential.
Adams' sheer size works in his favor. His long arms and strong hands can keep pass rushers at bay. He also has excellent feet.
"He's athletic for how big he is," said RB Dan "Boom" Herron, his teammate at Ohio State.
Adams' promise will earn him an NFL job. He very well could hear his name called on the draft's second day, perhaps as early as Round Two. Before that happens, though, he will have to have answered numerous questions about his past.
Adams, 21, was arrested in January 2009 for possession of drug paraphernalia, though he passed a drug test, and the charge was eventually dropped. He also was suspended two games in '09 for a team rules violation. Then, he was suspended for the first five games of last season after he sold his 2008 Big Ten championship ring.
Adams has been forthright about the off-field incidents, both with the media and NFL team personnel. As a high-profile player for one of college football's storied programs, Adams' off-field incidents were well-publicized. He is happy to tell his side of the story.
"I get a lot of questions," he said of team interviews. "I've had my trials and tribulations early in my career, and oh yeah, I'm open and honest about it. I think that's the best way to go about it, and that's definitely the approach I've taken."
Adams believes the ring controversy is a non-issue for clubs.
"To be honest, I don't think that's really that big of a deal to these guys," he said. "Some of the other issues I had earlier in my career, it's good to sit down and let them know that all of that's behind me. I've grown from my mistakes, and I fully acknowledge that I was wrong. It's all in the past, and I've learned from it."
At Wednesday's North practice, Adams played well in most one-on-one drills, although he struggled with Virginia LB-DE Cam Johnson, whose speed seemed to give him trouble. He lined up primarily at left tackle, though he did get some practice reps on the right side.
One league source who has watched Adams at the Senior Bowl said he was "(better) this week than (on) film." Adams, the source said, is "a (horrible) technician but you can see he has a lot of ability."
Among the areas Adams is working to improve upon is his tendency to lean too much. He also wants to work on keeping his hands together and keeping his head back.
"I like to think I'm a pretty good pass blocker, moving well in space," he said. "But I definitely need to clean up all aspects of the game, keep learning new techniques. That's why it's been great to be here learning from this Vikings coaching staff. (Assistant OL coach Ryan) Silverfield's had a lot of insight, a lot of great things to teach us, and to be able to implement new things in your game is something that can only help you."
Most of all, Adams wants to be consistent.
"You're going against the best of the best every play, so you can't be inconsistent, or you're going to look really bad," he said.
Adams' collegiate career was a series of stops-and-starts; in addition to the suspensions, he had shoulder, knee and foot injuries in his two seasons.
When asked, Adams will talk about his past, and freely, but it is his future that is his focus — and that of NFL clubs.
"It's a blessing to be here, period," he said. "If I can come out and improve every day and learn new things every day, that's what I'm here for."