Draft

From Division II to Round 1 in the draft? For Ashland TE Adam Shaheen, maybe

Adam Shaheen
COURTESY ASHLAND UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Could a Division II tight end really end up as a first-rounder in the NFL draft? It’s hard to believe, but one NFL executive thinks it could happen.

At least one executive expects Adam Shaheen to get first-round buzz as the draft approaches.

That’s right, Adam Shaheen, of Division II Ashland (Ohio). A guy who began his college career as a basketball player at Division II school Pitt-Johnstown.

NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah polled five executives for their views of players most likely to shine at next week’s NFL Scouting Combine. Most of their answers were fairly predictable: Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham. And then … there’s not predictable.

The anonymous executive described the 6-foot-6, 277-pound Shaheen as “clearly the third-best tight end in this year’s class,” praising his combination of “size, speed and toughness.”

The big one: “I think you’ll start to hear first-round buzz about him by the time his workout is finished.”

Shaheen went to the sublimely named Big Walnut High in Galena, Ohio, a town of about 700 that is 25 miles northeast of Columbus. He played one season of basketball at Pitt-Johnstown in 2013-14, then transferred to Ashland to resume his football career (he had played both sports in high school). He had two catches as a reserve in 2014 for Ashland, then set a Division II record for tight ends with 70 receptions in 2015. He had 57 receptions for 867 yards and 16 TDs as a senior in 2016.

Ashland has had eight alums play in the NFL. One is current Cleveland Browns starting defensive end Jamie Meder, who was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. He has played for the Browns for the past two seasons.

Ashland University – which is a member of the Great Lakes Conference, in case you’re interested – is in Ashland, Ohio, about 80 miles northeast of Columbus and about 70 miles southwest of Cleveland.

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