One of the biggest areas of weakness for the Steelers over the last few years has been their offensive line. Some people put the blame for all their failures on the shoulders of the offensive line and honestly, that really isn't fair.
With a $100 million quarterback, the offensive line should be one of the biggest priorities for the Steelers and they have shown that over the last two years, using first- and second-round picks on Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus GIlbert.
While Pouncey has proven with two Pro Bowl selections in two years that he was an amazing pick, Gilbert has also shown promise and will go into the 2012 season as the starter at left tackle.
Some Steelers fans are clamoring for Pittsburgh to make yet another first-round investment on the tackle position and select Mike Adams out of Ohio State with the 24th pick.
However, I believe that would be a mistake for more than one reason.
For starters, the Steelers already have starters at both positions. With Gilbert already given the starting nod at the left tackle position, the Steelers have shown that they believe he is set to be the starter at the most important offensive line position for hopefully years to come.
Having renegotiated the contract of Willie Colon, the Steelers have their starter on that side as well. The biggest issue at the tackle positions is the ability for Colon and Gilbert to both stay healthy. Colon has missed the last two seasons with different injuries, while Gilbert also missed time last year for the same reason.
With the lack of depth at the position, it may not be a bad idea for the Steelers to get someone that would be able to be the solid backup for both. The real question is, do you want to use a first-round pick on a player that is not going to at least have a chance to contribute?
My other issue is that while Adams seems to be a solid player, he is currently rated as the fourth-best tackle in this year's draft class. That is not bad, but to select him the Steelers would be giving up on players that are considered the first- or second-best at their positions (Barron and Hightower) to take a player that would be a backup at best.
Not only that, the Steelers have other areas on the offensive line that are not looking for depth, but for players that could actually start.
The Steelers said goodbye to Chris Kemoeatu this offseason, for more than one reason. He was a penalty magnet and when he wasn't holding, he was getting beaten.
Would it be smart for the Steelers to select a player like Adams when the positions next to him on either side of the line are looking for starters?
If you put all of that to the side and look at what Adams brings to the table, balance does not swing in his favor.
For starters, he was suspended for the first five games of his senior season at Ohio State. Though some people don't consider what happened with Adams and the other suspended Buckeyes to be a big deal, it was still a big enough deal to get Jim Tressel fired and the players suspended. Character issues are important, especially in the first round.
There is also a knock on Adams work ethic. He had a poor showing at the combine at his bench press, and hardly improved it at all between then and his Pro Day workout at Ohio State.
If you are to look at the total package of Adams and what the Steelers need from their first-round pick, it is pretty obvious that the Steelers could possibly take Adams. However, there are other better players that should have their name on the Steelers' draft card.