Mike Adams, #75, offensive tackle Ohio State. 6'6" 323 lbs.
If a scout were to draw up a starting NFL left tackle, the picture may look like a lot like Adams. His height, length and athletic build are prototypical for the position that helps protect the blind side of ultra-important starting quarterbacks.
The Ohio native earned a U.S. Army All-American Game berth as a top high school recruit, then immediately found himself on the field for five games despite the Buckeyes' usual depth on the offensive line. A shoulder injury sidelined him for part of the year, however, and a knee malady limited him to six games (four starts at left tackle before veteran Jim Cordle returned to the position) in his sophomore season.
Adams stayed healthy in his junior season, starting all 13 games at left tackle and garnering first-team All-Big 10 honors for his play. But his involvement in the Ohio State "Tattoo Five" scandal cost him the first five games of the 2011 season -- and reminds scouts of his past troubles*. He'll need to continue his improvement in hand usage and tenacity in his limited action as a senior, as well as ace post-season interviews, to be the high pick his talent predicts.
The Ravens will still have starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie in 2012 but he is not the long term answer. Adams is currently listed as the 38th best NFL prospect entering the draft, fifth best at his position. There is the possibility that he may still be around when Baltimore picks at the 29th spot. I doubt the Ravens would entertain the idea of moving Micheal Oher back to the left side after what they have seen from him thus far.
It would be wise for the Ravens to find someone to start grooming to take over for McKinnie after next year. If not they would be faced with either bringing in a rookie to start from day one or finding another veteran stop gap. Mike Adams has great size and strength for the position. He also carries around a pair of 11 inch hands. However, the knock on Mike is that he suffers from a lack of foot speed and can be easily beaten by a quick rusher in space (Rob Rang nfldraftscouts.com). He performs much better in close quarters. Spending a year behind an accomplished NFL veteran like McKinnie could do a lot for Adams as McKinnie is not the fleetest of foot either but has found ways to perform at a high level all the same.
Here is some analysis on Adams from cbssports.com:
Pass blocking: Tall, long, athletic pass protector. Generally gets out of three-point stance with good knee bend and a wide base. Improving his ability to use his hands to redirect rushers and late blitzers away from the pocket. Power rushers lose most battles, good anchor in close quarters, will reset hands and move feet to sustain. Stops his feet after initial contact at times, relying on length but allowing defender to get the corner or spin inside.
Run blocking: Solid positional run blocker who flashes some nastiness. Attacks his man when necessary, though he won't consistently dominate him and will lose his balance by overextending. Quick feet, can get inside of tackle to wall off inside and reach linebackers at the second level adeptly. Nice punch which he uses to knock down smaller defenders with one extension. Height a detriment in short-yardage plays, defender can get under his pads to hold the line. Flashes the ability to move his man with his hands, but is not yet consistent in this area.
Pulling/trapping: Best on the outside due to his height and athleticism, but is capable of blocking on the move if required. Effective in space as he usually drops his hips to get leverage and sustain against shorter defenders.
Initial Quickness: Obvious Quick-twitch movement off the snap in pass protection and as a run blocker. Finds defenders with his hands immediately and gets feet moving to engage and sustain. Can be beat off the edge, however, when coming out of his stance in panic to reach speedy wide rushers.
Downfield: Possesses the quickness out of his stance and footwork to be effective in front of screens. Willing to get out in front of ballcarriers to take out defensive backs and linebackers. Used at tight end on unbalanced lines, displays agility to reach the second level when uncovered in that role.
Intangibles: Took time to understand the mental aspects of the college game, but took a big step forward as a junior. Suspended the first two games of the 2009 season for violating team rules, cited in January 2009 for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia (charges were eventually dropped) after being stopped for running a stop sign. One of five players suspended for first five games of 2011 season for receiving benefits from a tattoo parlor owner, selling championship rings, jerseys and awards; Adams was required to pay back $1,000 for the ring he sold.
* In 2009 Mike Adams was charged with running stop sign and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia in January 2009, paid fine for traffic violation but tested negative for any drug so that charge was dropped when police agreed pipe was for smoking tobacco.