Steelers' 2nd-Round Pick Mike Adams Playing with 1st Team Despite Missed Time

Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJuly 6, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 04:  Second round draft pick Mike Adams #76 of the Pittsburgh Steelers works out during their rookie minicamp at the Pittsburgh Steelers South Side training facility on May 4, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers gave former Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams the benefit of the doubt when they spent a second-round pick on him after he tested positive for marijuana at the combine. It appears that they are ready to take an even bigger leap of faith with Adams after the team's minicamp.

Adams had to miss most of OTAs due to an NFL rule that bars rookies from practicing with their pro team until their college's classes are done for the year. He missed 10 practices in all, but Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio reports that the Steelers still put Adams at left tackle with the starters during the full-team minicamp.

According to Jackson, Adams isn't worried. "I went to rookie minicamp and the last minicamp, so I have a good feel for things," he said at the rookie symposium last week. 

The Steelers shouldn't be too worried either, as they could always switch Marcus Gilbert back from right tackle to left tackle and re-sign Max Starks if Adams fails miserably early in training camp. Willie Colon could also move back to right tackle, opening up a spot on the line for Ramon Foster in that scenario.

The team is still smart to attempt the gamble with the highest payoff first, and that would be the rookie holding down the job of protecting Ben Roethlisberger's blind side.

If he can do it, Adams would join first-round pick David DeCastro as the first pair of rookie offensive lineman starters for the Steelers in at least 33 years.