The Bears signed second-round draft pick (No. 45 overall) Adam Shaheen to a four-year deal Friday.
The 6-foot-6, 278-pound tight end from Ashland University, led all Division-II tight ends in receptions (57) and yards (867) last season and led all college tight ends with 16 touchdown catches in 11 games, an Ashland single-season record.
Shaheen's contract should be for slightly more than last year's No. 45 overall pick, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, whose signed a $5.4 million deal that included a $2.13 million signing bonus and $3.3 million in guaranteed money.
Shaheen's signing leaves first-round quarterback Mitch Trubisky as the Bears' only unsigned draft pick.
Shaheen began his collegiate career as a 195-pound basketball player at Pittsburgh-Johnstown but transferred to Ashland when he got the urge to get back to football.
"I really missed the physicality and the brotherhood of the football team," said Shaheen who was all-conference in both sports as an Ohio prep. "It was at an Ohio State (football game) that I went to that was the spark. It just festered over that year of basketball, and I made the transition."
He said frequent trips to Chipotle helped him put on more than 70 pounds.
In his first season as a college football player in 2014, Shaheen caught 2 passes for 85 yards as the No. 3 tight end. The next year he caught 70 passes, a D-2 record for tight ends, for 803 yards and 10 touchdowns.
At last weekend's rookie minicamp, Shaheen was asked if anyone had challenged him to 1-on-1 on the court.
"I put up the basketball shoes," he said. "I haven't played hoops in a while."
"Is it because no one wants to see what you've got," Shaheen was asked.
"No," he said, smiling. "I don't wanna see what I got."
As with any small-school draft pick, there are questions about how quickly Shaheen will be able to make the jump to the NFL, but Bears coach John Fox was impressed by what he saw at the rookie minicamp.
"The whole level of competition is something you look at and evaluate in our league," Fox said. "But I think with Adam I saw the same things -- the size and the quickness and the length that he has -- regardless of what school he played at," Fox said. "That transfers here."
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