With the NFL Draft in the books this week, the Bears will hold their first rookie mini camp this weekend at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, IL. Before the Bears newest crop of rookies get together this weekend, we will bring you a deep dive analysis on each individual draft pick this week here at The Loop Sports.
Adam Shaheen was one of three D-II players selected by the Chicago Bears in this past weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft, and while some have scratched their heads at the selection, Shaheen really has a chance to become a solid red zone target for the Bears at the NFL level.
Shaheen, 23, a native of Galena, Ohio played his college football at Ashland University after playing one year of basketball at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown. Shaheen compiled 129 receptions and 1,755 yards in two seasons at Ashland University before deciding to forgo his Senior season to enter the NFL Draft. The Bears selected the big tight end with the 45th overall selection in this past weekend’s NFL Draft, and hope that the tight-end dubbed “Baby Gronk” can make the transition to the pro game, and live up to his potential in Chicago.
The 6’7″, 278 pound pass catching blocker had a phenomenal Junior season in 2016, catching 57 passes for 857 yards and a whopping 16 touchdowns. His 16 touchdown catches led all collegiate tight ends, and was a school record as well.
Last weekend, Ashland Head Coach Lee Evans told Adam Hodge of CBS Sports that Shaheen has the ability to have success in the pro’s like two of his players that he [Lee] coached at Akron, Hall of Famer Orlando Pace, and Jason Taylor. High praise coming from a coach who knows what kind of mental makeup and qualities a successful transition to the pro game takes.
Don’t believe that this kid can play? Check out his 2016 highlight video before you read the rest of the player profile below.
Shaheen is a freak physically, standing in at just shy of 280 pounds, while running a 4.7 40-yard dash. Shaheen has speed for a man of his size, and uses it well when shaking defenders of of him, and has plenty of explosiveness off of the line according to scouts. Shaheen will need to shed some of that large frame to make a successful transition to the NFL, but the fact that he possesses that type of speed and physicality in the passing game at his current weight has me excited to see what shedding some pounds will do for his game.
His enormous frame is built well and impressive for a pass catching tight-end, and while it was utterly overwhelming for opponents at the collegiate level, his route running and technique will need to improve at the NFL level to matter.
While Shaheen has received negative marks for his technique work as a route runner of off the line, and a run blocker, his ability to accelerate and free himself downfield should be enough to have him catching passes and contributing effectively while he works to improve his run blocking and adding some fluidity to his route running and overall body positioning.
The most prominent reviews that he has drawn thus far have been in regards to his jumping ability, as well has his above average hands, and his plus ability to attack the football effectively at the catch point during jump balls.
Basically, the overall consensus at this point is that while he lacks run blocking ability, he makes up for it with his pass catching ability and his potential to be a terror in the red zone. His size, speed, and hands have him in position to live up to his “Baby Gronk” nickname in the NFL, and should be able to become familiarized with the run blocking schemes of the pro style game in due time.