Skip to main content

Veteran Acquisition Analysis: Adam Shaheen

The Dolphins added depth to the tight end room Saturday with the acquisition of former second-round pick Adam Shaheen.

General Manager Chris Grier dipped into his bag of draft picks sending a conditional 2021 seventh-round selection to the Bears for the 45th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Shaheen has an ideal size-athleticism combination. Courtesy of Kent Platte, Shaheen ranked 90th among 463 tight ends measured since the Relative Athletic Scorecard started in 1987.

Adam Shaheen has a nearly complete #RAS and measured out elite. Can't ask for much more, especially at that size.

— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2017

The small school product from Ashland University emerged onto the scene during the run up to the 2017 Draft. His movement ability, paired with a 6-foot-6, 278-pound frame, caught scouts' eyes in Indianapolis. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared Shaheen's movement and run after-the-catch ability to Kansas City's Travis Kelce, sharing several clips from Shaheen's Ashland career on Twitter.

Jeremiah noted the rarity of Shaheen's speed-size combination on his draft report of the tight end, mentioning that Shaheen's movement ability has the look of a wide receiver, at 278 pounds no less. Shaheen's college career began on the hardwood at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He transferred to Ashland in 2014 and walked on to the football team.

At Ashland, Shaheen caught 129 passes for 1,755 yards and 26 touchdowns.'s Lance Zierlein echoed Jeremiah's thoughts in his pre-draft report on Shaheen.

"He's big, he's fast and he's tough after the catch," Zierlein wrote on "Who doesn't want that? When you watch him dominate his level of competition, it's easy to get excited about the potential results if that size and athleticism translates to the next level."

Shaheen dropped some weight since college; he checked in at 257 pounds on the Bears official website in 2019. According to a story from CBS Sports last summer, Shaheen dropped the weight to improve his flexibility and core strength.

In his three years with the Bears, Shaheen caught 26 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns. He has one year remaining on his rookie deal.

Mike Gesicki came on strong in his second year with the Dolphins. He led the Dolphins tight ends in snaps played with 701 (65 percent of the offense's snaps). Durham Smythe was second with 482 snaps (44.7 percent) while former Dolphins Nick O'Leary and Clive Walford both played less than 150 snaps.

Playing in eight games for the Bears last season, Shaheen played 174 offensive snaps. According to Pro Football Focus, Shaheen was in-line for 110 of those snaps with 31 out wide and 27 in the slot. He was also considered an offensive lineman for four snaps and in the backfield on two plays.

Shaheen was praised for his ability in college to latch on as a blocker and displace defenders in the run game – one of the primary functions of an in-line tight end. In 2019, Shaheen was in-line on 65.5 percent of his snaps. Comparatively, Mike Gesicki was in-line on just 22.7 percent last year, while Durham Smythe aligned in-line on 78.5 percent of his 2019 snaps.

Tight ends are typically prominent fixtures on special teams, another trait Shaheen offers the Dolphins. During his 2017 rookie campaign, Shaheen played a career-high 388 snaps, including 149 as a special teamer.

Shaheen joins Gesicki, Smythe, 2020 free agent signing Michael Roberts, 2019 practice squad member Chris Myarick and 2020 undrafted rookie Bryce Sterk in the Dolphins tight end room.