Trey Adams: Strong, Experienced, Ready for Sundays

01/09/2020
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Trey Adams entered the University of Washington as the first true freshman to start on the offensive line in the Chris Petersen era. He now leaves the school as one of the team’s most decorated and experienced players. The road to the NFL Draft has been a tough one for this left tackle, but he appears ready to go come draft time for whatever team takes the chance on him.

Adams appeared to be the next great NFL OT prospect as he earned All-Pac-12 First-Team Honors and second-team All-American honors as just a sophomore with the Huskies. Heading into his junior year, he sure looked the part of an NFL star with his athleticism, power, and towering stature. That soon derailed, though, as he suffered from a torn ACL just seven games into his junior year. Prior to his senior season in 2018, he was forced to redshirt because he had surgery in the offseason to repair a bulging disc in his back.

Following these injuries, Adams was able to make his way back to the football field in 2019 and started every game for the Huskies, earning All-Pac-12 First-Team honors. While the honors are great, his play just didn’t seem as dominant as it once was; the injuries appeared to have taken a bit of a toll on his body. With that being said, though, he is still a very intriguing NFL prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft.

In today’s prospect film session, we will be looking at why teams should still take a chance on this massive left tackle. While he may not be the safe and athletic prospect that he once was, he still has a lot to offer to NFL teams in need of a quality offensive tackle come spring. Let’s jump into some film and see why teams should take a chance on this once-great left tackle prospect.

Aggressive Pass Sets (AKA Jump Sets)

To understand how Adams operates as a pass blocker, one has to understand his development in this area. He was coached by the Indianapolis Colts’ current offensive line coach, Chris Strausser, during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Washington. Strausser was also aided in this time period by legendary offensive line coach Howard Mudd, who would offer his tips and advice to the program. The method they teach, the very method that they instilled in Indianapolis this season, is a very aggressive one. It is heavily predicated on aggressive pass sets, more commonly known as jump sets. These sets allow tackles to attack pass rushers on the edge rather than letting rushers engage them.

Adams is very well versed in this style of tackle play, as he consistently attacks and disrupts outside pass rushers. He plays with an excellent base, and his long arms often allow him to deliver the first strike. Another major point in Strausser and Mudd’s teachings is flashing your hands in order to make the opposing pass rusher give away his leverage and upcoming move. Watch below how Adams is adept at attacking the pass rusher, flashing his hands, establishing a wide base, and utilizing his long reach to keep defenders away from his quarterback.

Run Blocking

While running the ball may not be as popular in the NFL as it once was, it is still a very valuable part of the NFL game. Adams is not the best run blocking tackle in this class, as he does struggle with defenders out-leveraging him and beating him with their athleticism. One aspect of his game in run blocking that I particularly enjoy, though, is his brute strength and ability to block inside and out.

Starting with his strength, it is very easy to see it on film. Even when he doesn’t have leverage or get a great leg drive on his defender, he is able to win the rep with his pure power. You will be able to see in a few clips below how he is able to effortlessly move players with just one arm, at times. In terms of blocking inside and out, he is very versatile as a run blocker. Washington sometimes asked him to down block a defensive tackle in the hole, while other times they would ask him to lead a pull to the outside. He performs well in both of these roles, and NFL teams should like that versatility come draft time.

Finishing Ability/Power

There is nothing better as an offensive lineman than to put somebody in the ground and establish your dominance over the opposing player. Adams doesn’t have the greatest leg drive in the world and struggles to out-leverage players, so he has to bury players with his best-known trait, which is his strength. He powers through defenders with great strength and is able to knock players around with his powerful punch.

It is obviously not the most important trait when evaluating offensive linemen, but having power and the mindset of wanting to finish plays goes a long way in the NFL. Body blows are important at the next level, and any way to establish an advantage and wear your opponent down is a huge plus. Adams will bring his power and take-no-prisoners demeanor to whichever team drafts him at the next level.

It is unfortunate that Adams suffered so many major injuries in his time at Washington. He may not be the elite offensive tackle prospect he once was, but he still has plenty to offer an NFL team at the next level. He is a powerful and experienced tackle who had his best career season under NFL-level coaching early in his career. While his athletic limitations do hinder him a bit now, his very-developed game should still make him an NFL starter.

The biggest question with Adams that teams will have to ask themselves is if they can count on him with his injury history. That is a major question that will likely be the talk of the offseason for the offensive tackle. Once teams can get past that or get answers they like, there is no stopping Adams from being a solid day two pick in this upcoming draft. I expect several teams who primarily utilize jump sets to be very interested in him. The Colts, Titans, Seahawks, and Raiders are all teams on that second day of the draft who could be looking to add this talented tackle to their roster with their current pass blocking schemes.

 

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