Through the topics of the 2012 NFL draft from the unanimous selection of Andrew Luck at number one to the unusual amount of first round trades, none of them struck me as much as the Pittsburgh Steelers selection of the coveted left tackle Mike Adams from thee Ohio State University.
As the process of the 2012 NFL draft began in late January, Mike Adams was a projected first round draft pick with a few character concerns stemming from his collegiate playing days. As the process continued, he firmly tagged himself as one with “character” concerns. Who goes into an interview, with the knowledge that drug screening will take place, and still knowingly uses a banned substance? After the NFL combine and the headlines loomed that Adams had failed his drug test, he was removed from the Steelers’ draft board and probably the likes of others. It absolutely fascinates me the stories that crept out after the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Adams with the 56th overall selection.
Having worked in several levels of professional sports I do feel that it is a dirty cut throat business that allows no room for pity and sympathy. That being said, the Steelers embraced the fact that one of the best tackles in the 2012 NFL draft at one of the teams weakest positions came to them with completely good intentions, to creep his way back on to their 2012 NFL draft board. During Adams’ requested meeting with Steelers’ General manager Kevin Colbert, Team President Art Rooney II and Head Coach Mike Tomlin he was given a “list of demands” that he had to comply with to even be reconsidered as an available and draftable left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Adams obviously met all demands and allowed himself to be vulnerable to the 2012 NFL draft process by only meeting with the Steelers organization to defend himself. Adams slipped and luckily the plan panned out for him and his childhood dream became a reality.
I do believe this will work for the Steelers. Adams showed contrition for his actions, and showed he was willing to jump through hoops to play for the team he loved. He put forth a strong effort to exceed the “list of demands” and rightfully was rewarded. The NFL spotlights second chances like Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress. Second chances like these seem to fly under the radar of the league but not the team. Everyone knows he did wrong, but in an era where money drives our young athletes, I am incredibly amazed at this young man’s will to forfeit half of his signing bonus to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Your actions on the field will ultimately negate your actions off. I do not see any concern in this situation that he may falter and fade off. I believe he has no choice other than to be successful. The Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance and will be rewarded. The team entered the last weekend in April with serious question marks along the offensive line. They shored up that problem in two rounds by picking DeCastro in round one and Adams in round two. I believe with the addition of these two young men, the Steelers have solidified the O-line for years to come.
This pick will quietly go down in the Steelers’ storied history as strange but yet fascinating. It won’t take long for this to be labled as a flop or an applauded gamble. Both sides played their cards perfectly, both sides will reap the benefits.