The talk of Mike Shanahan potentially making for a very nice tight end in the NFL began during the team's regular season. And now with the NFL Draft here, it could be turning into a reality.
Shanahan, by all accounts, is prepared to make the move and he spoke about it recently:
“I think I had a chance to be an H-back type of tight end and be able to still run routes and do a lot of catching more than blocking,” Shanahan said. “I think that's what my niche would be, but I'd still be willing to get in there and block.”
“I think (tight end is) where the direction's headed, and I kind of sensed that.”
In preparation for the position switch, Shanahan put on between 10 and 12 pounds to get above 240. He has the potential to add more or to shed the weight he's already gained if a team does want to try him as a receiver.
Shanahan is already considered by many to be a tight end and CBS sports rated him as the 32nd best one in the draft. For all intents and purposes, Shanahan is a tight end.
So could he be drafted? Anything's a possibility and he's one of the few Pitt players I could see going in a late round. NBC's Roto World says he could be a late round pick. The guess is that Shanahan catches on as a free agent, but his versatility as a receiver or tight end could make him a target of someone late.
Shanahan certainly has drawn interest and his agent says that more than ten teams spoke to the prospect. One of those, the New England Patriots, actually sent their tight end coach to Pittsburgh to put Shanahan through a workout ... so there's that.
His biggest problem as far as trying to be a receiver is that he doesn't have great speed. He's someone that could be a possession type receiver, but I like his chances far better as a tight end.