Fair or Foul: 23 receptions for Adam Shaheen

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 10: Adam Shaheen Chicago Bears
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 10: Adam Shaheen Chicago Bears /

Is 23 receptions a fair projection for Chicago Bears second-year tight end Adam Shaheen?

With the first season of Matt Nagy comes the question as to how he split up the offense. The Chicago Bears drafted Adam Shaheen in round two last season. However, the team also was quick to sign Trey Burton. They also retained Dion Sims, leaving a serious question as to how the tight end group will be divided up.

Mike Clay, who does the fantasy football projections at ESPN.com has projected Adam Shaheen to be targeted 33 times and haul in 23 passes. Is this a fair step forward for Adam Shaheen?

Shaheen caught 12 passes on 14 targets last season. It is fair to expect a fairly significant increase in targets considering his usage in the offense was questionable at best. Any normal coach may have had 33 targets as a workload for his rookie season. Still, this now is a projection that more than doubles his target total and creates a 64% increase in receptions. That is technically a big boost.

Historical comparison

The two closest second-year tight end seasons that would compare to this are Jared Cook and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Cook had nine receptions on 15 targets as a rookie. He followed that season up with 29 receptions for 361 yards. Those were his two lowest reception total season.

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Austin Sefarian-Jenkins had 21 receptions in each of his first two seasons. In his second year, he had 21 receptions on 39 targets.

Matt Nagy offense

One thing that is worth noting when considering his targets is that Clay has the entire tight end group slated to be targeted 118 times. Last season the Kansas City Chiefs targeted Travis Kelce alone 122 times last season.

This is not to say that the three tight ends in Chicago demand the same respect of the offense as Travis Kelce. Still, it has been noted that Trey Burton will soak up some slot targets. Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel will each split slot and outside targets.

So, there is a reason to think that there are extra targets available for Adam Shaheen.

It would be tough to make the projection based on numbers. However. watching the tape of Adam Shaheen you could see an underused player who likely will see more targets in 2018. Still, while an increase from 14 to 33 seems like a lot of targets, that should be a higher number. With that, we could see an increase in receptions as well, closer to the 30s.