NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
When you are dealing with a massive head cold and your 5 month old son has decided that sleep is not really important to him, it can be tough to accomplish a whole lot in a day. Despite being sleep deprived and my head feeling like it is being squeezed in a vice, I was excited to get up today and write this report. Today’s prospect is a virtual unknown….for now. Once he gets a chance to showcase his skills, he will be rising up draft boards. Today we go to Division II for a Tight End prospect I think has a bright future in the NFL.
Name: Adam Shaheen (#44)
School: Ashland University (rJr.)
Height: 6’7″ (unofficial)
Weight: 277 Lbs. (unofficial)
It is pretty rare to see a guy from such a small school leave early for the NFL, but in Shaheen’s case, I think it is warranted. When watching the film, it was very easy to pick out Shaheen, both from a physical and athletic standpoint. It was clear that Shaheen was the best player on the field in every game I was able to watch. He is a smooth route runner with an incredible catch radius and soft hands. Shaheen is a fluid mover, showing the ability to make a tough catch look easy and then turn up field and run. Despite being from a small school, he has the build of an NFL player. He has broad shoulders and tapered waist and even at his height, his legs look filled out. It is tough to gage what he will run, but Shaheen consistently outran Defensive Backs that were much smaller than him. He showed the ability to use his big frame to seal off defenders and make contested catches.
Like I said above, Shaheen was clearly the best player on the limited game tape I could get a hold of, so it is tough to come up with a lot of negatives from the game film. What we don’t really see on the tape and that will need to be answered by NFL teams is his route running and his blocking. I did see him do some blocking, but again, the competition level was not high, so it is hard to gauge his technique and refinement. Shaheen will be making a massive jump in competition at a position that can be difficult for even the most polished players from bigger schools have trouble transitioning to. His learning curve will be great and his ability to adapt to the competition and the complexities of the NFL will determine if he can make and NFL roster.
As many of you remember from last year, I had a draft crush on another small school Tight End, Tyler Higbee. Well, Adam Shaheen has made me all but forget about Higbee and I might even have a bigger crush on him. Look, I know he is going to be making a huge jump in competition, but this kid has the raw physical and athletic traits that could make him special with a little time and good coaching. He has a build similar to Gronk and he plucks the ball out of the air like Gronk does as well. Before we go all crazy, I am not saying he is or will ever be Gronk, but he shows physical and athletic traits that are Gronk like. If, and I preface this with a big if, he can can take to the coaching and handle the jump in competition, he has a chance to be a mismatch on offense. He is a day 2 guy for sure, but I would take a chance on him earlier on Day 2 than most. I think he will make a name for himself when he tests at the combine (I am assuming he will get an invite) and maybe an early day 2 pick won’t sound so crazy after that.