Potential to improve his pass protection in the NFL
Too big and strong to be bull rushed
Struggles with speed rushers
Allows too many sacks and pressures on quarterback
Cited for drug possession, but charges were dropped
Suspended two games in 2009; violated team rules
Suspended five gams in 2011; part of Tattoo Five scandal
Missed games with shoulder, knee injuries
Summary: Adams was a highly touted recruit who took some time to become the player that Ohio State thought he would be. Injuries caused him to miss time as a freshman and sophomore. Adams stayed healthy and played well being an All-Big 10 selection as a junior, but he was part of the "Tattoo Five" that landed Ohio State in the crosshairs of NCAA sanctions and ended the tenure of coach Jim Tressel. After being suspended five games to open the 2011 season, Smith had a quality senior campaign. He did a good job of opening up holes in the run game while being a quality pass protector when he didn't draw a tough matchup.
Adams has an excellent NFL skill set to work with. He has ideal size with quickness and athleticism. Adams is dominant at times and looks like a special player. He uses his quickness to shield pass rushers and his power to push defenders around. Adams has the ability to be a quality starting left tackle in the NFL, but needs further development on his pass protection for the next level.
Adams can struggle with speed rushers. When he went against Marshall's Vinny Curry in 2010, Adams was able to block him well in the ground game, but Curry gave Adams a lot of problems in pass protection. Matched up against Illinois speed-rusher Whitney Mercilus last year, Adams had an ugly game. Ohio State only threw FOUR pass attempts the entire contest. Adams only had to block Mercilus in pass protection on four plays, yet Mercilus beat Adams for 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Mercilus also totaled nine tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss. The trend continued at the Senior Bowl. Adams looked dominant at times and completely lost at others. He also took some snaps at right tackle.
Whichever team drafts Adams may have to give him help against quality pass rushers until he proves he can be reliable against dangerous edge defenders. With the demand for offensive tackles, Adams should be a late first-round pick. His struggles with speed rushers has him firmly behind other first-round tackles like Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff and Jonathan Martin.
Adams is going to need to land with a good offensive line coach to help him get more consistent in order to be a reliable blind side protector. He could be a strong right tackle candidate in the NFL. He may be better off starting his career at right tackle before moving to the left side.
Player Comparison: Max Starks/Marvel Smith. Adams is comparable to the Steelers offensive tackles. Smith (6-5, 325) was the Steelers' left tackle in their Super Bowl XL championship. Injuries killed his career and cut it short. Starks (6-8, 345) has been a solid pro and part of Pittsburgh's smash-mouth offense. Starks has played right and left tackle for the team. Both of the veteran tackles, like Adams, can struggle with speed rushers at times. They also are tough run blockers who can rock linemen off the line of scrimmage.
NFL Matches: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore
Adams could be a target for a number of teams in the back half of the first round. The Bears have a big hole at left tackle and Adams could fill it. Cleveland could use their second first-round pick, 22nd overall, to draft Adams to fill their hole at right tackle. The Lions have to find a long-term left tackle to replace Jeff Backus, and they could consider Adams.
The Steelers are planning on moving second-year pro Marcus Gilbert to left tackle, but they may consider Adams for their first-rounder, moving Gilbert to right tackle or guard. The Ravens need a long-term left tackle, as Bryant McKinnie is only a short-term option.