After trading down nine spots in the second round of the draft, the Bears on Friday night selected tight end Adam Shaheen with the 45th overall pick.
With the 45th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bears select Ashland University TE Adam Shaheen (6'6" - 278 lbs).
Shaheen spent the last three seasons at Division II Ashland University. After playing sparingly in 2014, he caught 70 passes for 803 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015 and 57 passes for 867 yards and 16 TDs in 2016. The 16 touchdowns set the Division II single-season record for tight ends.
"Any small school player we watch, we really want to see him dominate the level of competition and this guy definitely did that," said general manager Ryan Pace. "Great character, high football intelligence, strong work ethic, and what stands out for a guy with his size, his athleticism jumps out."
At 6-6 and 278 pounds, Shaheen was the tallest and heaviest tight end at the NFL Combine. He also tied for the most bench-press reps at his position with 24. Shaheen initially played basketball as a freshman at Division II Pittsburgh-Johnstown before transferring to Ashland to play football.
Pace feels that that Shaheen possesses "good route quickness, good ability to separate, natural hands, good body control and a big catching radius."
"He's one of those guys, when you're watching tape, you have to keep looking down and go, 'man, this guy's 6-6 and 278 pounds and he moves like that?'" Pace said. "You can feel his basketball background, his ability to go up and high point balls in a crowd. Just a good combination of size and strength and speed after the catch. So a lot of intriguing traits we're excited about adding.
"It's easy for me when there's a consensus with our grades, and we were all in line with this. Everybody's pumped up about this and excited to add him."
Pace was also excited to recoup some draft picks after trading three to the 49ers Thursday night to move up one spot in the first round to take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick.
The Bears dealt picks in Rounds 2 (36) and 7 (221) to the Cardinals in exchange for picks in Rounds 2 (45), 4 (119) and 6 (197) this year in addition to a fourth-round choice in 2018.
"Going into tonight one of the goals was we had some options to acquire talent but also get some draft picks back," Pace said. "We were able to drop back nine spots and get multiple picks, and basically when you look at it, it equated to giving up a little bit more than a third-round pick in our trade for Mitch, so felt good about that.
"The ability to trade back and get a player that we really targeted and a guy we want was exciting."
Shaheen had a formal interview with the Bears at the NFL Combine and then he watched tape with tight end coach Frank Smith the night before Shaheen's Pro Day workout.
"Jeff Shiver, our area scout, was on him pretty early in the process in the fall and he was just kind of pounding the table and at first we were like, 'Man, this is Ashland. What do we have here?'" Pace said. "But when you turn on the tape pretty soon you realize this is the real deal and this was a strong tight end class, but he was right in the mix of all the top guys.
"He's a really intriguing player. It's really interesting because a guy that big, he's a difficult guy to defend in traffic. He's big, he can go attack the ball and he's got really good concentration."