INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The first official “affect the Browns” Scouting Combine tidbit was dropped at about 1350 hours in Indiana on Thursday.
That’s when Ohio State tackle Mike Adams said that the Cleveland Browns were one of two teams that had talked to him about playing right tackle in the pros, the other being the Washington Redskins.
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Of those two teams, only one has two first-round picks — and that’s the Browns, who are sitting at the 22nd spot with their second first-round choice. Which is right in the area where folks project Adams to be selected. Adams played left tackle for the Buckeyes, but he’d switch sides without hesitation if Cleveland — or any team — asked him to move.
“I’m open to do whatever a team needs me to do,” Adams said.
Browns coach Pat Shurmur emphasized the Browns are still gathering information about all draftable players.
“I’m looking forward to digging into some tape on him,” Shurmur said of Adams. “I haven’t seen as much of him as I have some of the other skill players.”
Adams certainly fits the NFL size requirement. He measured in at 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds, ideal for a tackle. And he said one of his strengths is athleticism and “blocking in space.” Which could translate well to NFL pass blocking.
“As an offensive lineman in the NFL, pass protection, I guess, is where you make your money,” Adams said.
But the predraft scuttlebutt on Adams is mixed. He had what he called “bumps in the road” early in his career. Those bumps included being caught committing NCAA violations in the tattoo issue at Ohio State. He was suspended the first five games of his senior season, which in itself might make teams pause.
But Adams also was suspended two games in 2009 for violating team rules, then had misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charges filed after he ran a stop sign. Those charges, though, were dropped.
“I’ve let those things build my character rather than break it down,” Adams said without going into detail on any one incident. “I think that my character is something that all the coaches at Ohio State have vouched for. Anybody who knows me knows I’m not a bad guy. “
Adams has tried to make the most of the pre-draft segment of the calendar. Folks said he had a “good week” at the Senior Bowl. If he impresses this week at the Combine teams will keep thinking better of him.
“He really helped himself at the Senior Bowl,” said NFL.com analyst Mike Mayock in a recent conference call. “I think he will continue to help himself at the combine. Most people had second round grades on him, but he’s moving up.”
A player with a second-round grade taken in the first round might sound an alarm. But Adams played the premium position of left tackle, and he played in a major conference against serious competition.
“Hopefully the teams will look at that,” he said.
He’s looked to Orlando Pace as an on-field example, and he’s tried to study NFL guys like Jake Long and Joe Thomas.
He freely admits, though, that he can improve in pass protection.
“Getting my hands too wide at times and oversetting is definitely something I have to work on,” he said.
There is some thinking that that admission is a red flag that Adams has developed bad habits, and that it will be hard for him to improve because he’s not developed consistent practice and work habits.
Adams merely said that pass protection is “something I’ll keep striving to get better at.”
“It’s just a blessing to be in this position,” Adams said. “If my name is called in the first round I can’t even explain how that would feel.”