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Steelers gambling on OT Adams

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Posted April 27, 2012 @ 10:45 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Teams like certain attributes at certain positions, and from an on-field perspective, the selection of Ohio State OT Mike Adams shouldn’t come as a major surprise to those who have watched Pittsburgh closely over the years.

The 6-7, 323-pound Adams has excellent size for a tackle. He has long arms, and he has good feet. He fits the mold of the big, tall tackle that Pittsburgh has recently preferred, with Max Starks and Marcus Gilbert the most notable examples. Adams’ appeal is easy to see; he can keep smaller, quicker pass rushers at bay with his length and athleticism. It’s an ideal combination for a tackle.

However, Adams’ decision-making is a concern. He tested positive for marijuana at the Scouting Combine, NFL Network reported in April. Also, he was twice suspended at Ohio State —  once in 2009 for a pair of games, and once in ’11 after selling his 2008 Big Ten title ring.

At the Senior Bowl, Adams acknowledged he had his share of “trials and tribulations,” but he indicated he had taken some lessons from the experiences.

“I've grown from my mistakes, and I fully acknowledge that I was wrong,” he said. “It's all in the past, and I've learned from it."

I thought Adams played well at the Senior Bowl. Given that he had such a golden opportunity to perform for scouts and to interview with teams both at the game and at the Scouting Combine, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had been a first-round pick, considering his intriguing skill set.

Time will tell if the Steelers were wise to have taken him in Round Two. From a talent perspective, the selection makes sense. And clearly, the Steelers were comfortable making the pick.

I like Mike Adams. He could be a wonderful pro. But I wouldn't have taken him in the second round. His tendency to end up in situations that compromise his availability to his team is a risk I wouldn’t have been comfortable taking at that spot.

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