Tight end might be relatively low on the list of team needs for the Dallas Cowboys, particularly when I tell you that they could be targeting a Division II player from Ashland at the position. This is exactly the case though, as Adam Shaheen will hold private workouts with six teams – one of which being America's Team.
Flying up draft boards ever since the NFL Combine, teams are coming around on Shaheen in a loaded TE class. Yet another converted basketball player at the position, Shaheen dominated at Ashland in his final two seasons with 70 receptions for 10 touchdowns as a Junior. He proceeded to break the school record for touchdowns this season with 16 on 57 receptions.
Coming in at 6'6″, it will be interesting to see just how much the Cowboys prioritize Shaheen as the middle of the field weapon Dak Prescott's offense is potentially lacking.
“If they had to play a game today, who would be on the field where,” is a fun hypothetical to play before the draft, and at TE the answer is pretty easy for Dallas in Jason Witten. By the time the actual season gets underway, James Hanna may also be ready to return from injury along with Geoff Swaim (whose recent surgery of his own will sideline him until training camp).
Rico Gathers, a sixth round pick from the Cowboys in 2016, is also in the mix at TE after spending his rookie season on the practice squad – reportedly making significant strides in his football skills after literally being drafted off of the Baylor Bears basketball team.
Once thought of as a later round steal, Adam Shaheen is going to potentially get looks as early as the second round from teams that miss out on either O.J. Howard or David Njoku – the consensus first-round prospects at TE in this 2017 Draft.
The Cowboys had defensive needs with the fourth overall pick they used to make a splash and add Ezekiel Elliott at running back a season ago, and it is interesting to think that the same could apply to their second round pick this year. If the pride of Ashland football in Adam Shaheen falls to the 60th overall pick, despite there likely being plenty of talent at safety and cornerback remaining on the board, don't be surprised to see Dallas draft to their strengths and further improve the offense.
After all, Shaheen already compares remarkably close to two tight ends currently valued by the Dallas Cowboys, and one they signed after the 2005 Draft in Portland State's Tony Curtis the most. To date, the only Cowboys' TE on this list that has made a significant impact on the team is future Pro Football Hall of Fame member Jason Witten.
If Adam Shaheen finds his way into the silver and blue, he'll be looking to change that in a hurry.