Before even playing one single snap in his NFL career, Chicago Bears rookie tight end Adam Shaheen is already drawing comparisons to football greats. Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly was covering the Bears’ training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL this past weekend, and tweeted about Chicago’s second-round pick.
Everyone in the football world knows that Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is a future Hall of Famer, and has been a big part of Dallas’ offensive success over the past 14 years. Obviously, the sizes of Witten (6-foot-6, 263 pounds) and Shaheen (6-foot-6, 270) are virtually identical. For the sake of the Bears, let’s hope that the 23-year-old is able to come pretty close to being a carbon copy of Witten in more ways than one.
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Since entering the NFL in 2003, Witten has been a picture of durability, having missed only one game. Bears starting tight end Zach Miller has been plagued with injuries throughout his entire career. If Miller happens to get bitten by that injury bug once again, it’ll be nice to have Shaheen waiting in the wings with Witten-like invincibility. What speaks louder than Witten’s toughness is his career stats of 1,089 receptions and 11,888 yards, both of which ranks second all-time among tight ends in NFL history.
If by chance Shaheen lives up to this comparison—or come somewhat close—not only will he be a reliable security blanket for Mitchell Trubisky (or whoever the quarterback will be in the future), but this could be considered one of the biggest steals in draft history. In Monday’s practice, Shaheen showed his big-play ability by snagging two touchdown catches in a five-play span. This definitely doesn’t cement Shaheen’s legacy as the next great tight end in league history, but if things like this continue to happen, he could make general manager Ryan Pace look like a genius for drafting him.