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The Dynasty/Fantasy Outlook on Adam Shaheen Traded To Miami (and my original 2017 scouting report on Shaheen)

July 27, 2020 4:16 PM
July 30, 2020 11:30 AM

The Dynasty/Fantasy Outlook on Adam Shaheen Traded To Miami (and my original 2017 scouting report on Shaheen)


Adam Shaheen was traded to Miami, for basically nothing (a conditional 7th-round pick). Another in a long line of scout’s (and fan’s) ‘next Gronk’ proclamations that have failed to launch.

Great size 6’6”+/278 coming out of college and nice Combine measurables (for his size) across the board…he never put it all together in the NFL. I don’t believe there will be a revival or renaissance in Miami for him because he doesn’t have ‘it’. I’ve never felt an ‘it’ factor with him all along…even though the overall profile was worth kicking the tires on originally, at the right price. And even Miami making a throwaway trade to see here makes sense – the Bears are rapidly becoming the worst run, worst personnel team in the NFL...perhaps it was ‘the Bears’ more than it was Shaheen?

I went back and looked at my 2017 scouting report on Shaheen, and thought I’d share it…I think it holds up as fairly pegged three years later.



From my scouting report 4/14/2017…


NFL Draft 2017 Scouting Report: TE Adam Shaheen, Ashland

*Our TE grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

**Our TE formulas had some slight changes in the offseason—an adjustment to better identify and value TE prospects that are smaller physically and are primed for the era ahead...the era of Jordan Reed and Delanie Walker-type TEs. Our historical grades will have changed some on various prospects as well, to show their grades by comparison.


Adam Shaheen has caught draft 'fire', oddly. It's rare that you’d see a guy go from a low low-level school like Ashland, and then watch him not blow anyone away at the NFL Combine (but he was OK)…and then see him rise from a day three prospect to a top 60 one just a few weeks later.

What I think is driving the sudden 'love' for Shaheen is two-twofold…

1) Mainstream football analysts seem to have some unwritten rule that tight ends are not allowed to be highly valued in a draft. Several teams need them. Analysts complain about teams needing them, and yet they bristle at the thought of tight ends going highly in a draft. They're making an exception for O.J. Howard, but they're even upset about that….and trying to say he won’t be in the top 10–15 overall (he will be, book it).

When the media sees tight ends as the lowest form of draft asset, just above kicker, then what the analysts do is jam them all in the second and third round. In their mind: none to be taken in the first round, and then 10–15 of them taken in the second and third.

Shockingly, mainstream draft/football analysts make no sense once again. But they are consistent/predictable. Shaheen is getting into the ‘jammed into the 2nd/3rd-round’ cluster of ‘hope’.

2) Shaheen seems like he is good.

I meant that the way it is written. No one has any idea how good he might be because all we've seen is Shaheen working the lowest level of college football and doing well. He tested solidly at the NFL Combine. Seems like he's fine, no? The clincher…he's really tall, 6′6.4″. Solid Combine, tall, and mysterious…that's a second second-rounder if I've ever seen it!!

So far, the mainstream has tried to push Gerald Everett, Jake Butt, and Jordan Leggett into the second round. Now, that those three prospects are fading…someone has to fill the void. Enter super-tall Adam Shaheen.

I see the data. I can read. 6′6″+/278 and tested fairly athletic at the NFL Combine…makes sense. I get it. I think you have to take him seriously based on that data. What I'm hung up on is watching him play. My eyes aren’t happy. I would have never guessed Shaheen as being 6′6″ or having a 4.79 40-time or with a 7.09 three-cone. His speed/agility isn't world class among tight ends, but it's not bad…and it's really nice for his size. I just see a much stiffer player when I watch him on tape. You’d think he would have just humiliated the opposition on every other play. I didn’t see it. I saw a good, big tight end who was a little bigger and faster than the other guys. He didn’t leap off the screen.

All the data points point towards a top 75 overall player in the draft. A former D2 basketball player of little regard. His school closed the basketball program and he transitioned to Ashland as a walk-on for football. He scored 16 TDs last season; he was great for his level. He was an academic All-American…a 3.9 GPA in finance. His hands seem solid. His body is what you want in the NFL. To the best you can tell, he's going to work as a pro.

More NFL teams are looking for Adam Shaheen types than they are for Evan Engram (smaller, speedy) types. This draft has so many unique tight end prospects – it's wild and wonderful. When teams start throwing darts at tight ends after O.J. HowardAdam Shaheen has the kind of size/look that old school coaches desire. I would not be shocked if Shaheen is the second TE prospect off the board this year because Shaheen fits the mold as a traditional tight end, and he has such an incredible size-athleticism combo that it's hard to even compare him historically.

How will Shaheen hold up at the advanced NFL level, compared to what he saw in D2 play? It may take a year or two, but I bet he'll be fine. I don’t see the next great NFL tight end in Shaheen, but I don’t really see any red flags either. If you’re going to take a shot on a tight end in this draft…why not the 6′6″/278 guy who has good feet? Really, that's what his high draft stock will come down to. The only argument against him is 'inexperience' and 'level of play'.



Adam Shaheen, through the lens of our TE Scouting Algorithm

Here's a trend that would scare me…

In Shaheen's first six games in 2016, he was a breakout star – 7.0 catches for 116.8 yards and 1.8 TDs per game. In his final five games, once teams seem to get wise to him – 3.0 catches for 33.2 yards and 1.0 TDs per game. His numbers were cut in half+. You'd think he would have dominated throughout…without even trying?

I never really saw Shaheen 'dominating'.

I look at Shaheen, and I look at Toledo's Michael Roberts – similar 'big' tight ends, who both scored 16 TDs last season. Roberts 'wows' me…every time I see him play, he does something that gets my attention. Never/rarely with Shaheen.


NFL Combine data…

6′6.4″/278, 33.3″ arms, 9.6″ hands

4.79 40-time, 1.72 10-yard, 4.39 shuttle, 7.09 three-cone

24 bench reps, 32.5″ vertical, 10′1″ broad jump


Shaheen's college stats on GLIAC website: http://www.gliac.org/sports/fball/2016-17/players/adamshaheenaygx?view=gamelog&pos=wr



The NFL TE that Adam Shaheen most compares to statistically in college, within our system:

Yes, Brad Cottam and Troy Niklas are who Shaheen reminds me a little of. Bigger guys, decent receivers, nice targets with their height. Injuries and underwhelming performance is their calling card so far. 




*A score of 7.0+ is where we start to take a TE prospect more seriously. A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of TEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL TE.

All of the TE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

**The ‘TE-Reed’ score is in honor of Jordan Reed’s 2015 season…looking at TEs in a different manner—the smaller, speedy receiving threats.

“Speed-Agility Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to have a better YAC and show characteristics to be used as deep threats/create separation.

“Power-Strength Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better blockers, and less injury-prone.

“Hands Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding on-field performance in college, considering the strength of opponents played. Furthermore, this data considers some physical profiling for hand size, etc. High scorers here have a better track record of college statistical performance and project the combination of data for receiving success at the next level.



2017 NFL Draft outlook...

I think Shaheen is a lock for the second round, as most mock drafts now have him projected. It just makes too much sense.


NFL Career Outlook: He will get fans all excited as a second-round pick when they see his height and athleticism, and then 2–3 years from now they'll mostly forget who he was. Troy Niklas was a nice TE prospect and went #52 overall in 2014. I had to check to see if he was still in the NFL today (he is).



2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Outlook in Miami…

Shaheen has a shot to be the #3 TE on this roster...the problem being he doesn’t offer much for special teams/blocking to hang as a #3 TE roster spot. 

Mike Gesicki will start. Durham Smythe is a kind of co-starter who is ‘the blocker’...and can start as a three-down TE if needed. 

Shaheen will battle another 2017 NFL Draft flameout, Michael Roberts (who had some flashes, but also a lot of injury issues), for the #3 TE spot it appears...and I like Roberts better as a talent, but Shaheen might be more stable off the field and can at least be a red zone weapon. *Soonafter I wrote this piece/section...I got an NFL alert that Roberts had been cut by the Dolphins --so, Shaheen is in the driver's seat for the #3 job for sure!

There’s more chance Shaheen is released before Week 1 than there is of him rising up past Gesicki-Smythe to any fantasy prominence. 

In March 2020, Shaheen was on a Bears’ roster with a wide-open chance for him to ascend to the #1 tight end considering Trey Burton was about to be given up on and the Bears had a bunch of UDFAs and Shaheen behind him. Instead of pushing Shaheen, the Bears signed Jimmy Graham for a ridiculous amount of money and then drafted overrated Cole Kmet highly...and then moved Shaheen to Miami. 

2020 was a golden opportunity for Shaheen after three years in the Bears’ organization...and they weren’t interested. That says a lot about his future...


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>