Tha Sports Junkies 101

NFL’s Cinderella Story: TE Adam Shaheen

Adam Shaheen Zooma via Flickr


Adam Shaheen, Tight End, Ashland University

Adam Shaheen is the NFL’s very own “Cinderella Story” coming from the small village of Galena, Ohio. At Big Walnut High School, he played both football and basketball, earning all-conference accolades in both sports.

He attended the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, where he played Division II basketball for one year. After watching a football game over a weekend break, he got the itch to play.

Shaheen transferred to Ashland University to play football for the Eagles. In 2014, as the number three tight end, he raked in two passes for 85 yards.

The following year, he was promoted to starter.

His 70 receptions for 803 yards and ten touchdowns in 2015 set a record for Division II tight ends. He set a school record in 2016 with 16 touchdowns among his 57 receptions for 867 yards. As a result of his performance as a walk-on at Ashland, he became a two-time AFCA All-American, and first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference pick. Not only is Shaheen a top athlete, but he is also a finance major with a 3.7-grade point average, earning Academic All-American honors.

NFL Draft Prospect Analysis

Following his junior season, he announced that he would forgo his senior year of eligibility to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Overall, he received a grade of 5.83 at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. For his size, Shaheen displayed above-average speed and acceleration, running a 4.79-second 40-yard dash. He tied with Oregon’s Pharaoh Brown for the most bench press reps among tight ends with 24.

His well-proportioned and robust frame is enormous for a tight end. As a result of his basketball experience, he has quick feet that allow for clever stutter-and-go double moves to uncover against linebackers. He displays plus hand-eye coordination and the ability to alter his body positioning to improve catch odds while tracking the football. Another positive, he sees twists and blitzes and responds well.

On the downside, he is a weaker blocker than what might be expected for a player of his size. The jump in competition is going to be substantial, and he will need to improve his technique as a run blocker and learn how to utilize his hands to free himself against the press.

Final Thoughts

Adam Shaheen is big, athletic, and fast. He will likely draw interest from many teams. While he may need to work to become a more consistent blocker and complete tight end, he is a dangerous pass-catching target. The potential to become a starter and impact a passing game early in his career is quite real.

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