They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Kevin Colbert is clearly no historian.
The Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance in round two of the 2012 NFL Draft by selecting Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams. Like yesterday’s first round pick, David DeCastro, Adams is another player most mock drafts had predicted to be gone well before the Steelers chose him with the 56th overall pick. A 6’7 323 pound monster with starting potential at right or left tackle, quite a few draftniks even had him slotted as a late first rounder. Unlike DeCastro, we know exactly why Adams slipped to the middle of round two.
He was one of six players who failed their drug test at February’s scouting combine. This wasn’t the first time Adams’ affinity for weed got him into trouble as he was arrested for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in 2009 and served a two game suspension because of it. He was also suspended for five games in 2011 and forced to repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring as part of Ohio State’s memorabilia/Tattoogate scandal. However, testing positive for marijuana at the combine has to be the most distressing red flag. First of all, the testing date is well known weeks ahead of time so you’re either an idiot or hardcore stoner if you can’t get clean before they ask you to piss in a cup. Secondly, Adams was asked about his history with mary jane during interviews and told everybody he had learned his lesson, hadn’t touched the stuff in years, blah blah blah. Only after he was caught did he ‘fess up.
Hmmm… Let’s see… A pothead from Ohio State with character issues and red flags all over the place… Yeah, nothing can possibly go wrong there.
Look, I applaud the Steelers for making a strong effort to keep their franchise quarterback healthy and upright. As I said yesterday, I have no confidence in Marcus Gilbert and Willie Colon as our starting tackles so if Adams is as advertised, and I’m not denying he has outstanding physical gifts, this is a great pick. And I understand the Steelers took a hard line with the kid, telling him he was off their board until he showed contrition. And I also understand Adams wrote a heartfelt letter apologizing for lying and even took the unusual step of offering to defer his signing bonus for a year and a half so he can win back the team’s trust. But I’m sorry, the Steelers have been down this road before and nine times out of ten, if you’re an idiot in college, you’ll be a bigger idiot in the pros. Stop selecting these low character guys. To paraphrase Sam Wyche, we’re the Pittsburgh Steelers, not the Cincinnati Bengals.
In the third round, the Steelers addressed something other than offensive line by taking outside linebacker Sean Spence from Miami. Spence is a fine athlete who benefits from an almost psychic ability to guess what play the offense has called before they run it. Or maybe I’m getting him confused with someone else. And at least the only trouble he’s been in was serving a one game suspension for receiving
improper benefits free lap dances while in school. For a Miami alum, that’s practically a choir boy.
You’ll have to forgive me for getting him confused with Shawn Spencer of Psych. They don’t really have much in common except for a vaguely similar name and the fact they both stand 5’11. Yep, the Steelers invested a third round pick a linebacker who’s smaller than half the running backs in the NFL. Mike Tomlin mentioned in a post-draft presser he envisions Spence moving inside which is pretty laughable when you consider he’s a midget. For comparisons sake, James Farrior stood 6’2 and weighed 245 pound while Spence tips the scales at 5’11 and 230. How the hell is Spence going to line-up with guys like the Incredible Gronk (6’6 265 for those keeping score)??
As you may have surmised from my sarcasm, I’m less than thrilled with this choice. Prior to the draft, Kevin Colbert said he expected to get at least three starters in rounds 1-3. In the post-draft presser, he’s already stated he sees Spence as a depth guy to groom behind Lawrence Timmons. Just what we need, yet another depth linebacker to go with the Jason Worilds, Thaddeus Gibson and Stevenson Sylvester (Class of 2010) and Chris Carter and Mortty Ivy (Class of 2011). How many freakin’ back-up linebackers does this team need?
I guess I can’t be too down on this year’s draft because at least we got DeCastro. No matter how you slice it, day one of the draft was a home run. Day two was anything but with the team taking an offensive tackle with huge character concerns and an undersized back-up inside linebacker. If the Steelers were solid up and down the depth chart, I could understand aiming for this sort of roster filler. However, they’re not and I’m a little worried that they don’t seem to have any sense of urgency in addressing that.