In a loaded tight end class that features O.J. Howard, Evan Ingram, Bucky Hodges and David Njoku, one name to keep an eye on is Adam Shaheen.
Shaheen, a 6’7 278-pound tight end out of Division II Ashland (OH), put himself on the proverbial map and radar of prospective NFL teams at the NFL Scouting Combine in running a 4.79 in the 40-yard dash.
While not many see the small-school Ashland as a proverbial NFL hotbed, the non-profit, mid-sized private school has produced NFL players such as current Cleveland Browns defensive tackle/end in Jamie Meder.
During the Eagles 2016-17 season, Shaheen set a school record with 16 touchdowns to go along with catching 57 passes for 867 yards.
With the NFL using more and more two tight-end sets in the passing games and looking for the next Rob Gronkowski-Jeremy Graham freak type of mismatch, perhaps the former two-time AFCA All-American and first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standout in Shaheen could be the answer.
Likely to draw interest from teams who are looking for size and a big target in the red zone, Shaheen’s combination of size, speed and athleticism in addition to his already enormous size and frame.
Projected to go in the top of the second or early third, don’t be surprised to see teams such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Green Bay and Jacksonville take a flyer on him in April. Teams such the Browns, Saints and Jaguars could definitely look to use Shaheen as either a complimentary weapon across from the the likes of Gary Barnidge and newly-signed Martellius Bennett or replace free agency flops such as Julius Thomas.
While not in serious need of a tight end due to having Jesse James, don’t sleep on the Pittsburgh Steelers targeting Shaheen as they need insurance for Ladarius Green.
While he may come from a small school, Shaheen may turn out to be the NFL’s biggest combine surprise come April.