Monday, May 1, 2017

Adam Shaheen - The Ashland Dream

The Bears shocked the world in the first round by trading a boatload to move up one spot to take Mitchell Trubisky, a quarterback that they worked out once and never spoke to again. I am finally done talking about that transaction and going to move on to the next move that the Bears did to surprise many, when they drafted Adam Shaheen, a tight end out of Ashland University. No, I did not misspell Alabama, as they took a guy from a school called Ashland. Since I am a massive nerd, I had heard quite a bit about him leading up to the draft, but even that information could be summed up with 6'6", 270, and moves well. I decided that I needed to know more, so I watched his games against Wayne State and Northwood.

Let's go back to that size, because he's the biggest damn player on the field most of the time. He looks like an extra lineman as opposed to a tight end. Still, I didn't really see him using his size to dominate guys. He was a fine blocker, but I came in thinking that he was going to take people to Slamtown in his blocking.

The next thing I noticed is that I hate how he runs. He seems really choppy when he gets started off the snap, but he does much better once he gets going. Still, it's not the smoothest process. I also felt like he didn't utilize his length enough. He seemed like a T-Rex out there.

All that being said, he was a good enough athlete to consistently be open for Ashland. Like, I have a tough time understanding how the quarterback didn't throw his way more often. Instead, the Ashland got Rex Grossman Syndrome occasionally and just wanted to fire the ball as far as he could. It usually didn't work out too well.

He does seem to adjust to the ball well, and with his frame, he's going to be a tough matchup for any team. Here was the best highlight I saw in the two games I watched.
And I'm sure that's what excited the Bears front office. Overall, I see potential, but considering he was the 45th pick in teh draft, there are still way more question marks than I am comfortable with, especially in a draft so loaded with tight end talent that the Broncos were able to get Jake Butt in the 5th round.

Anytime you are dealing with a small school prospect, the biggest question is how his skills translate to a much higher level of competition. That frame should translate anywhere, but there is also a lot of refinement necessary for him to be successful in the NFL. Here's to hoping that he can improve his game and give Mitchell Trubisky a reliable target in the passing game.

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