Another Bronco came off the board in the seventh round on Saturday.
Defensive end Keion Adams, who saw playing time in all four years at Western Michigan, was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 248th overall pick.
He is the third senior from the 2016 Western Michigan squad that finished 13-1 and won the MAC championship. With this pick, the 2017 NFL Draft becomes the first one since 1972 to have at least three Broncos drafted.
Adams led the Broncos in sacks in 2016, tallying 7.5. He added 18 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles as well — a strong, physical force from the defensive end position.
Adams stands at 6-feet-2-inches tall and 245 pounds — smaller than most typical defensive ends. But what Adams lacks in size, he makes up in speed. He has a quick burst from the defensive line and possesses unique speed for a defensive end, with the ability to maneuver across the field to affect any play.
Adams joins the Steelers defensive line, which currently employs defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. Adams provides additional youth to a young defense and will likely audition as a defensive end and outside linebacker in training camp and preseason. One key veteran on the Steelers defense is former Kent State and MAC legend James Harrison, who may serve as an important mentor to Adams as he begins his NFL career.
The Steelers finished 11-5 last season, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots 36-17 in the AFC Championship Game. Addressing defensive concerns was on Mike Tomlin’s radar this offseason, selecting four defenders in this year’s draft. With young defensive end talent, the Steelers’ “Blitzburgh” defense — ranking eighth in sacks in 2016 — may rise to elite ranks again.
For more on Adams’ new team, check out Behind The Steel Curtain, our sister blog that covers all things Pittsburgh Steelers.