INDIANAPOLIS – Coming out of high school at 6-4, 195 pounds, Adam Shaheen had the height but not the weight of an NFL tight end prospect.
So, the two-sport graduate went to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to play basketball. Not a bad fallback.
But after attending a football game, he got the bug to get back on the gridiron and decided he would do anything to play football again.
That landed him at Division II Ashland as the 225-pound third tight end with the NFL far from his radar.
But now, he's at the Combine as part of one of the best tight end crops in history, his 6-6, 278-pound frame making him a possible second-round pick. He left Ashland early after catching 57 passes for 867 yards with 16 touchdowns.
How did he get from a 195-pound prospect without a place to play football to a 278-pound NFL talent in just a few years later?
"A lot of Chipotle burritos. A lot of burritos. No, in all honestly it was a lot of burritos. But it was a ton of consistency for, going in and doing one hard week of training and then lazy the next. It was a year and a half to two years of constant … 'Sorry, guys, I can't hang out. I gotta go eat.'" Shaheen said with a laugh.
That growth and on-field efforts has even gotten to the point where some have even compared Shaheen to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, though it's a flattering comparison he's clarly far from comfortable acknowledging.
"Uh, I am not too sure how to respond to people comparing me to Gronkowski," Shaheen said, also acknowledging that he had a Friday night formal meeting scheduled with a Patriots team very much in the pre-draft mix for a tight end.
You can see what Shaheen would look like in a Patriots uniform – actually in every NFL uniform – in the tweet sent out announcing his decision to leave Ashland as an underclassman.