Kevin Colbert On OLB Keion Adams: ‘There’s Some Raw Talent There’

Due mostly to the fact that he was the Pittsburgh Steelers final draft pick this year, we’ve yet to talk much about edge-rusher Keion Adams. In fact, even Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert didn’t say much about the Western Michigan product during the team’s annual post-draft press conference.

On Tuesday, however, Colbert was a guest on ‘Movin’ the Chains’ on SiriusXM NFL Radio and during his interview he talked a little more about Adams.

“Keion Adams, he came into his own as a starter this year,” Colbert said. “[He] played mostly with his hand on the ground. They stood him up here and there, but for the most part he was a defensive end. But as we do with most of those outside backer candidates, we just think, ‘Ok, can they stand up?’ And at his pro day he did some of that type work. But what we were looking for was someone that could run the edge and still learn it. So, he ended up with 7.5 sacks. He had Jimmy Williams, a former No. 1 pick with the Detroit Lions, coaching him and Jimmy did a real nice job in upping this kid’s pass-rush game.”

Jimmy Williams, as Colbert mentioned, coached Adams for just one season at Western Michigan as he was hired to be the school’s defensive line coach early in 2016. Williams, who spent 12 seasons in the NFL playing for several different teams, recorded 27.5 sacks during his professional career.

As for Adams, who measured in at his pro day at 6020, 247-pounds, he didn’t become a full-time starter until last season. He did, however, record 14.5 sacks over the course of his four seasons at Western Michigan with 13 of them coming during his final two years.

Adams’ pro day numbers resulted in a SPARQ score of 124.9 and that’s the same score former Auburn edge-rusher Carl Lawson registered at this year’s scouting combine. Lawson, by the way, was drafted this past weekend by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth-round.

The Steelers selection of Wisconsin product T.J. Watt in the first round of this year’s draft wasn’t totally unexpected. While Watt is obviously viewed as the potential heir apparent to veteran outside linebacker James Harrison on the right side moving forward, Adams will need to show a lot between now and the final round of cuts just to make the final 53-man roster.

In short, Adams will not only need to show the Steelers he has upside as an edge-rusher, he’ll also need to endear himself to special teams coordinator Danny Smith right away as that will be his quickest way to secure a roster spot.

At worst, Adams can likely be stashed on the Steelers practice squad for a little while should he ultimately not make the final 53-man roster out of training camp. Colbert put it best Tuesday when talking about Adams’ future.

“You take a kid and there’s some raw talent there,” said Colbert of Adams. “There was some production there and hopefully maybe he can turn into something.”

After Adams was selected by the Steelers he immediately posted a straightforward message on Twitter.

“I love to prove the haters wrong,” he posted.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Love that he’s hungry. Show what you can do in camp, young man!

  • Conserv_58

    Talk is cheap. Don’t sing it kid. Bring it.

  • Sam Clonch

    Nice example of a great PS candidate. Has the tools to maybe be something, just needs some time with real coaching and workout regime to put it all together. Could be really nice depth behind Dupree/Watt once Deebo moves along.

  • falconsaftey43

    One of my favorite picks this year. Really hope he shows well and can make the team as ST and depth this year.

  • Shirley Sharpton

    Fire Joey Porter. He had almost no experience prior to the Steelers job, and he’s a lout. Did nothing with J Jones, Dupree has yet to impress (PFF and game film shows he can’t yet apply consistent pressure) and Harrison ignores him. I pray that Dupree’s off-season time with the guru guy will help him, because loud mouth run on the field I’m drunk 45 minutes after a playoff game in a bar by myself Porter has to go.

  • Sam Clonch

    So I suppose Jarvis is about to have a breakout season then, right? Cause it was obviously JPeezys lack of coaching ability and not the fact that he just isn’t that good.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Man, it would be nice to hit on a late round OLB!

  • Jason

    Hate to agree because I loved Joey as a player but when Gay had the pick 6 in the playoff game v Cincy and Joey crawled up the sidelines on all 4’s I wanted to puke. You’re a coach now, act like one.

  • Jason

    Lol. He’s gonna need some real special coaching

  • steelburg

    I thought this guy may have been an option to move inside. But it sounds like he will stay outside. This will be a big off season for both Moats and Chickillo. I could see a scenario where one of them are off the roster to start tbis upcoming season, and I could see a scenario where both guys are off the roster to start the 2018 season. Adams is competition for both Moats and Chickillo.

  • americanpatriot

    I suppose the ‘haters’ and the all important ‘chip on your shoulder’ = incentive. I would think being a seventh round pick would be all the incentive ones needs. I hope this kid turns out to be the best pick of our draft (sort of) and if he does it will be due to what HE does and not who the ‘haters’ are, if in fact there are any.

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    Sounds like Harrison comments on proving everyone wrong.. i like it

  • Terrible Towlie

    I can see him making the 53…he’s exactly what you want on ST

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    As a former player I like when coaches do things like that. It shows that they are genuinely excited and enjoying what they’re seeing. It is a game after all, relax.

  • Dofdmp

    He was a Beast against GA Southern.

  • hchristi15

    Random question here. Does anyone know why all of these highlight videos have the NE logo on the bottom right corner?

  • popsiclesticks

    I like his ability to turn around the edge and he seems adept at “avoiding the trash”, but I don’t know if he’ll ever be powerful enough to beat NFL Tackles. But really, what else would you expect in the 7th round…hope he makes it.

    EDIT: He definitely seems like a superior rusher to Travis Feeney, who never really showed any true pass rush ability.

  • barry foster

    Dupree came on last year after the injury he was our best pass rusher remember the bills game or tell Matt Moore that

  • Douglas Andrews

    Good question I was wondering the same. Also why do they show the same highlights with the same play from 2-3 angles?

  • Keith Evans


  • Ed Smith

    Having fun and “connecting” with players is important, however there is a line called PROFESSIONALISM, that should not be crossed. Acts like that, as well as his repeated public drunkenness and antics at HS football games (all chronicled on this site in the past) are the reason the Steelers SHOULD HAVE parted ways with Joey Porter and hired Kevin Greene this offseason. Greene has a proven track record of successfully coaching LBs…

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    I never mentioned any of the off the field antics as anything acceptable.

  • James Rogers

    Ummmmm, they valued a LS over him.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    His size says inside but his skill set says outside. Practice squad is his upside for now, but Silverback and Cam Wake came from further adrift than him. He needs to get stronger and add weight.

  • Voice O’ Reason

    It’s nice to hit on a late round anything.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    True dat!

  • Voice O’ Reason

    For an extremely young player coming off an injury, Bud Dupree impressed me quite a bit late in the season. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the LB corp. this year.

  • Jason

    Many of us, including myself, are former players at varying levels. I’m 38 so I wouldn’t consider myself old and “stuck in my ways” so to speak but in my opinion coaches can show emotion much like Tomlin and Cowher, etc, without crawling like a baby. Just not my thing. But fear not, I’m totally relaxed.