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Chicago Bears 2017 Draft Pick Grade - Adam Shaheen

Pace swings for the fences with a massive tight end project

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Shaheen is a physical anomaly. Players this large (6'6"/278) should not be this agile or this fast. He is massive for a TE in every sense of the word. He’s also a massive gamble. Add to that the pressure of being a 2nd-round pick and you have situation primed for the highest highs of a boom, or the lowest lows of a bust. Make no mistake; this pick contains the amount of risk Kyle Long did all over again. Kyle has worked out very well for the Bears so there is hope, but there is also the very real dark specter of doubt.


As a former basketball player he has good hands, excellent body control when the ball is in the air and that size. We have to talk about that size again because it is relevant. Who do you cover him with? A safety at 6' and just under 200 pounds? Good luck. A linebacker at 6'1 & 240 pounds, who definitely doesn't jump or turn as well as Adam does in the air? Not too many corners are going to be pleased about Shaheen coming their way either. Simply put there just aren't a lot of good ways to defend him from a practical standpoint. Kam Chancellor has a decent shot at it. Not many others do.

Adam has a very large catch radius and uses it to his advantage. He is not the best catcher in this draft but he is far from the worst. He's definitely a hands-catcher and that extends his ability to grab the football at places where other (smaller, shorter) players cannot make a play on it. His routes are OK, but not terribly nuanced. The good news is he is smart. He's a finance major with a 3.7 GPA and his college coach called him and "intense listener". He can pick things up but that is going to take a minute.... Which leads us to the negatives.


Everyone raves about Shaheen's tape but you have got to remember one of my personal touchstone phrases in scouting: “nuance matters”. He has crazy production but he is playing against a bunch of future high-school gym teachers and insurance salesman. The jump from lower level Division 1 programs to the NFL is massive... but the gap between Division II and the sport's highest level is monstrous. Shaheen is a good enough athlete to make the leap (he's been training at EXOS (one of the top draft-prep factories in the country), but plenty of crazy-good athletes fail in the NFL. Adam will have to become a very good football player very quickly and do it under some fairly bright lights.

His blocking should be better than it is for a player of his size; especially at the level of competition he comes from. But one thing to remember is that he has only been that size for a few years. When he arrived at Ashland he was only 210 pounds. He's taken on the challenge of eating and added a stunning 67(!) pounds to his frame in a just a few years. He is literally still growing into his own body, so there is potential for improvement there. He'll also need to work on his flexibility. Adam shows some stiffness in his routes, especially at the top of the route stem. Being able to release his hips more easily will allow him to carry even more speed through his breaks.

Being a 2nd-round selection in a football-crazy town like Chicago won't grant him very many free passes. His learning curve will be extremely steep and we will see how he responds. If he Rises to the challenge, Chicago could have a weapon in the middle of the offense for years to come. If not, they wasted a high draft pick in an extremely talent-rich draft. There is very little middle ground for Mr. Shaheen moving forward.

Grade / B-

If I have to give this pick a grade it is a B-. It is dripping with potential but the Bears left a lot of good football players on the board to pick a project. If Shaheen embraces all the challenges in front of him and becomes the next Kyle Long-like talent, nobody will remember where the Bears gambled on him. If he doesn't, everybody will remind him and Ryan Pace of exactly how risky this gambit was.


How would you grade the 2nd-round selection of TE Adam Shaheen?

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  • 18%
    (53 votes)
  • 27%
    (80 votes)
  • 28%
    (82 votes)
  • 12%
    (36 votes)
  • 12%
    I don’t want to talk about it right now.
    (37 votes)
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