Every year it seems a prospect emerges from obscurity to capture the imagination of the scouting community. The 2017 NFL Draft has seen it happen at several positions. Running back, edge rusher, defensive back, and tight end have all had unheralded prospects make waves throughout the process.
The New York Giants’ need for better play from their tight ends going forward. If they miss out on one of the top tight ends in this talented class, could they look at one of the surprises? Adam Shaheen emerged from division II Ashland to be one of the major subjects of talk throughout the draft. His size and athletic ability capturing the imaginations of scouts.
But can he complete the big jump in competition?
- Massive frame looks more like an undersized tackle.
- Very athletic for his size.
- Tenacious blocker when engaged. Latches on and doesn’t let up.
- Hands catcher -- regularly extends to pluck the ball out of the air, and can make catches away from his body.
- Lined up all over the offensive formation.
- Played at a much lower level of competition. The NFL will be a big jump.
- Simply out-classed many of his opponents. Too big, strong, and athletic.
- Inconsistent effort. Rabid player when engaged or a target, but jogs when not blocking or the ball goes elsewhere.
- Routes are very rounded, and he lumbers in and out of breaks.
- Can to get “grabby” when blocking. Could draw holding penalties in the NFL.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
A player with Shaheen’s tools would fit with the Giants.
Whether or not that player is Shaheen is another matter. He has elite size and very good athleticism at that size, is able to play in-line, in the slot, or split out wide. On the field he showed generally reliable hands and tenacious blocking in-line and at the second level. All of those things the Giants could absolutely use.
The question has to be asked, however, how he will handle moving up from D-II Ashland to the NFL. In college he enjoyed a massive size and athleticism advantage. He routinely lined up across from edge rushers or linebackers that he out-weighed by thirty to fifty pounds, but was still a more dynamic athlete. He will not enjoy that advantage as a professional.
That isn’t to say that he can’t make the leap -- far from it. However, his adjustment to the size, speed, complexity, and athleticism of the NFL has to be a question the Giants need to ask.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 101st overall
CBS Sports - 44th overall
Draft Countdown - 62nd overall
Draft Tek - 68th overall
Adam Shaheen is something of a mystery. Playing at Ashland, in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, tape is hard to come by.
However, his size and athleticism at that size are plain to see, and his raw tools stand out in stark contrast to the other players on the field. However that contrast is part of the problem, and dominating a lower level of competition is the basic requirement.
Wherever Shaheen is drafted, it will be on his potential, not the player he is right now. He will need to adjust to the game at the next level, and really hone his craft as a professional. Also, he seems to throttle down too readily when it seems as though there is nothing to do, and that is a bit concerning. Hopefully, the challenge of playing at the highest level will keep him engaged.
If he can stay engaged and unlock his athletic abilities, Shaheen has the potential to be a steal, but the reward is certainly not without risk.