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Posted at 04:06 PM ET, 02/23/2012

NFL Draft: Mike Adams prepared for NFL, past off-field issues

When Ohio State tackle Mike Adams recalls the best opponents he faced during his college career, Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan gets a nod.

The 6-foot-7, 323-pound Adams also names former Wisconsin standout J.J. Watt (now of the Texans) and former Iowa end Adrian Clayborn (now of the Buccaneers).

“My junior year I played against Ryan Kerrigan, J.J. Watt and Adrian Clayborn,” says Adams, one of the top tackle prospects at the NFL Combine, and a projected first-round pick in April’s draft. “I would say those three guys, they all were great players, and all of them definitely made a name for themselves. So I would definitely say those three guys.”

Adams says that playing against that trio as a junior helped him prepare for the NFL as a senior. And after seeing all three excel as rookies last season, he has confidence that he too can succeed as a professional.

“Just the ability to go out and perform against high-caliber competition, it’s something I’m definitely glad I was able to do, and it’s something for the scouts to look at on film,” Adams says. “As an offensive lineman, especially in the NFL, pass protection is, I guess what they say, is where you make your money. It’s something that I pride myself on doing well and something that I’ll keep striving to get better at.”

Adams spent his college career at left tackle, but he could switch to right tackle in the NFL. Adams said that both the Redskins and the Cleveland Browns spoke with him Wednesday about his willingness and ability to make the move.

“Whatever a team wants,” Adams said. “I’m just blessed to be in this position. No matter where I go [in the draft], I feel blessed.”

Despite an impressive playing career, Adams has had some off-field issues. He was suspended for the first two games of the 2009 season for violating team rules and pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from drug paraphernalia found by police in his car the same year. Charges were later dropped, however. Then, Adams missed the first five games of last season for selling gear and receiving improper benefits.

But Adams said none of those problems will be an issue for him going forward.

“I had some bumps in the road earlier in my career, but I think that I used those things to build my character rather than to bring it down,” he said. “I think that my character is something that my teammates and coaches at Ohio State would vouch for. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not a bad guy. I’ve definitely made some mistakes, but I’ve definitely learned from them.”

By  |  04:06 PM ET, 02/23/2012

 
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