As the normality goes for guys who stand any taller than 6’4” or so, Adam Shaheen originally began his college career as a basketball player at Pittsburgh State. After what could be considered a failed experiment, Shaheen moved onto a new project and transferred to Ashland University to play football. What could go wrong? At 6’6”/270+, he would be a monster on the gridiron.
After a freshman season in which he played more of a reserve role, Shaheen brokeout as a starter and posted staggering production, including a new record for receptions by a TE as he hauled in 70 catches that year. In 2016, he continued to produce at a high pace and ended the season with 57 catches, 867 receiving yards and a school record 16 TD grabs.
With his size and production combined, Shaheen understandably began to turn heads in the NFL Draft landscape. His play at the D-II level warranted an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine where he would go on to run a 4.79 and standout in the agility drills. Between size, athleticism and production, you would think Shaheen is a “can’t miss” prospect. However, we’ve seen players standout against low tier competition and not transition effectively to the NFL, how will Shaheen fair as he makes the jump?
Name: Adam Shaheen
Size: 6’6”/279/33 1/2” Arm Length
Class: Junior (RS)
Comparison: Larry Donnell (New York Giants)
Draft Grade: 5th Round
Combine Results: 40-Yard Dash: 4.79 – Bench Press: 24 Reps – Vertical Jump: 32.5” – Broad Jump: 121” – 3-Cone Drill: 7.09 – 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.38
— Jonathan Valencia (@JonValencia_WiB) March 18, 2017
Positives: Enormous frame is a mismatch for anyone in every phase of the field. Moves extremely fluid for a man his size with deceptive quickness. Sprints downfield to help block and does so quickly. Big enough upper body to inhale the ball in his chest. Transitions through blocks well. Shows quick lateral footwork and the ability to shift from one block to another. Essentially an extra tackle stacked at the end of the offensive line with his size. Presents a large silhouette for blitzers to get past. Gets leverage on blocks and shows good leg drive. Springs blocks well with arm extension. Finishes blocks. Has a knack for squeezing behind the defense in the endzone. Displays nimble feet when anticipating the pass over the middle of the field. Creates after the catch in space. Quick turnaround off the catch – instantly becomes a runner. Learning how to use his body effectively and come down with the ball at it’s high point. Long arms and large wingspan.
Negatives: Doesn’t always play to his size. Allows smaller defensive backs to scrap all over him. Vertical looks flat – doesn’t launch up for the ball like you’d expect at his size. Looks a bit soft engaging blocks and will occasionally be brought down easily after the catch. Struggles mightily to get separation in his routes. Doesn’t know how to use hands off release. Not a natural hands catcher and usually catches with his body. Lack of competition at the D-II level is a concern. May have trouble adjusting to the game-speed in the NFL.
Outlook: I have major concerns regarding Shaheen’s ability to adjust to the game-speed at the next level. He stood out on the field at the D-II level, but he played a bit too soft and slow with level of competition considered. While his size and ability is intriguing, he remains a super raw prospect. He doesn’t always use that 6’6”/279 frame to his advantage and allows smaller defenders to mirror him – that will only get worse in the NFL. Still, he brings a lot to the table, although he leaves a lot left to be wanted. Due to upside and size, Shaheen could go off the board as early as the 3rd round, but I feel more comfortable about him in the 4th-5th round range.