Just a day after the Chicago Bears drafted quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, they drafted another piece to build their future offense.
Chicago traded down in the second round, acquiring a second-round, fourth-round and sixth-round pick this year and a fourth-round pick next year, then took Ashland tight end Adam Shaheen with the 45th overall pick in the draft.
The 6-8, 278-pound Shaheen was a monster for Division-II Ashland, converting over from basketball to football and it's paid off.
“I just really missed football," Shaheen said. "I didn’t have much opportunity to play football coming out of high school because I was so thin. But I had a bug in me after watching an Ohio State game and just made the switch after that year. And I’m very happy I did.”
The Ohio native hit a big growth spurt late in high school and then eventually put on the weight that allowed him to make the decision to pursue a football career at Ashland. He also credited Chipotle as the reason for gaining 53 pounds from 2014-17.
"Yeah, I grew … I started growing real late in high school. I was a really late bloomer," Shaheen said. "So coming out I was only like 6-4 1/2, maybe 6-5 coming out of high school, maybe 195 pounds and I mean I played basketball that first year, so I didn’t really put on any weight. But then the weight followed the next couple of years at Ashland and I was able to maintain my speed while gaining the size it was going to take to put myself in the position that I am tonight. "
Shaheen really broke out in his redshirt sophomore season for the Eagles in 2015. He set a Division-II record for tight ends with 70 receptions during that season, to go along with his 803 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
He dominated opponents and gave the Eagles a big, physical threat in the red zone. That's something the Bears are hoping he brings to the table during his NFL career.
"[Teams like] my physicality and ability to go up and get the ball," Shaheen said. "I know there’s a knock on Division II football, but one thing they don’t account for is they don’t call pass interference in Division II, so people were just mugging me left and right — that’s something we had to deal with. Something where I was very physical back with them."
While he may not have been a household name for fans in this draft, some teams had him as the No. 2 tight ends on their draft boards.
Bears tight end Zach Miller has had injury problems the last few years and the team brought in veteran Dion Sims during free agency. But they were high on Shaheen entering the draft process and got their guy. Now the Bears hope that Shaheen can contribute as both a receiver and blocker.
"I just wanted to come in this draft and show that I could do both," Shaheen said. "I was asked a lot more in college to catch the ball and I was very successful at that. But I also did a lot of blocking. We ran a lot of power and off-tackle stuff. So I was in there blocking as well. That’s what I love to do as well. Right now, I think the tape will show that I have pretty good hands, but I want to be a complete guy that’s going to do it all.
For now, he's still processing being selected in the second round and he's ready to start working.
“I’m speechless right now," Shaheen said. "But I’m going to be ready to go to work in the morning.”