Current Approach with Adam Shaheen Looks Best for Bears

Gene Chamberlain

Ryan Pace receives plenty of criticism for his first-round draft mistakes, as well he should.

Trading up for Mitchell Trubisky, drafting Kevin White and Leonard Floyd now in Round 1 all look like mistakes.

He's been very successful in Round 2 except for one.

James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Eddie Goldman and Anthony Miller were second-round picks and now Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson. The one second-rounder who has played but hasn't been a success is tight end Adam Shaheen, hence the selection of Kmet.

The Bears continue talking up Shaheen as if he's a candidate to play this year but at best he would seem to be trade bait when they've just drafted someone of Kmet's stature in the 2020 draft at No. 43 overall and have bulked up on tight ends on their roster.  

"Here's a guy I absolutely loved when he was in college, I thought a fantastic prospect" Bears tight ends coach Clancy Barone said.

Barone even had a talk with former Bears coach John Fox about Shaheen and they both decided Shaheen looked the part of a tight end.

"I mean the guy is physical," Barone said. "His height, his length, everything about thie guy is what you want. Now, for whatever reason, did he have a hiccup here or there, injuries, whatever else? I don't know that."

Shaheen has definitely had this and has disappointed.

Of the 12 tight ends taken in the first two rounds who have played since Shaheen's draft class, he has the 11th most receptions.

It's often mentioned how difficult contributing as a rookie tight end can be and the figures do tend to indicate this. Still, Shaheen's 12 catches in 14 targets for 2017 was pointed at as a decent start for him, and then the injuries came and prevented him from adding much to his totals.

There are plenty of tight ends who have blossomed after a year or even two. The Bears have to be concerned Shaheen could be one if they dispatch him for next to nothing.

Rams tight end Tyler Higbee didn't have the injury concerns Shaheen had, and averaged just 20 receptions for his first three seasons with a high of only 25. Then he made 69 in Year 4.

Now Shaheen faces Year 4.

"I would not say any more than just Adam is a guy I think has a very very bright future and I've got plans for him to do things in our offense," Barone said.

A team can only keep so many tight ends and the numbers suggest Shaheen's bright future will be in some other offense, if he has a bright NFL future.

Then again, before they do something like trade him there's ever reason to keep him around as long as possible to make sure they haven't discarded someone of value. There's no reason to rush into anything.

After all, they're holding onto a quarterback who is in his fourth year and has yet to show he's worth retaining beyond 2020.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

Comments (1)
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Dennis Deiner
Dennis Deiner

I can't wait for Mitch to light it up !!! Then you will have some excuse !
Shaheen could do better than Graham ! Especially for the money !!!