Veteran Dion Sims will be the team's No. 1 tight end and likely will contribute more in the passing game, too, as well as Daniel Brown. But the Bears invested a high pick in Adam Shaheen, which shines a spotlight on the former Division II player.
The Bears talked up Shaheen’s pass-catching skills when they drafted him with the 45th overall pick back in April, and hoped his 6-foot-6, 270 pound frame could make him a strategically-deployed weapon as a rookie. That hasn’t come to fruition yet, and he wasn’t able to use that size to get open in the red zone on Sunday—instead, he couldn’t separate from Saints safety Vonn Bell, and was unable to get open for Mitchell Trubisky on the play. Shaheen seems to have the upside here, but at this point is more of a stash than starter. The bye week may give Shaheen some extra time to get ready for Week 10 but he's looking like a risky play right now, at least for lineups in typical leagues.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase expects TE Julius Thomas to cause similar matchup problems with Miami like he did in Denver in 2013 and 2014.
According to Gase, the Dolphins were seeing a lot of base defenses when they went with three wide receivers and one tight end. Essentially, opponents didn't fear Miami's tight ends enough and were willing to cover them with linebackers, and the statistics bear that out.
The Dolphins did not get nearly enough production out of the tight end position last season due to injuries and inconsistency. Last year’s starters -- Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims -- combined for just 34 receptions for 316 yards and five touchdowns.
Thomas knows the system well and shouldn’t have a big learning curve, the story said. Gase also knows how to get the best out of Thomas and will put together a productive route tree and efficient ways to use the tight end.