Mike Shanahan  WR/TE   Pittsburgh

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Mike is a wide receiver with the body of a tight end.  He has excellent hands and is a match-up nightmare all over the field because of his size and his ability to catch the ball going down the highway in a speeding car.  Mike has the ability to separate because of his long strides and can get deep on double moves because opponents will struggle to tackle him on his short routes.  He has good speed, but what you are really getting in Mike is a "moving the chain" kind of receiver in the middle of the field, a match-up nightmare and your touchdown maker in the red zone.  Mike has the agility to adjust to the ball in the air, then go up and snatch the ball with strong hands that most receivers don't have until they are in the NFL for a few years.  He does a good job blocking in space, he's smart and will be able to play more than one position for you in your passing game plan. Mike is a clutch receiver who should become a fan favorite and a quarterback's best friend on the field.  He can play the slot, do a little H-back duty and play wideout in the red zone.  He can play in your four and five receiver sets on the inside and outside and will gain valuable yardage in chunks in the middle of the field.  Truly, he is a matchup nightmare because of his size and strong wide receiver like hands. There is no bigger sleeper in this draft than Mike Shanahan who played for a Division I team for anyone and everyone to see.

 

CONCERNS

Mike lacks the speed to be considered a true wide receiver.  My guess is that Mike looks like he will run in the 4.60 range in the forty and, for most teams, that's not good enough. Of course I think that is B.S., but others will not.  Mike did not get invited to the combine, the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine game.  This will be a big issue for him to overcome and be considered as draftable by most teams.  Once again, not by me, but by others.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Ten years ago, Mike would have been labeled a tweener because he doesn't have the speed to be a true wide receiver and is not strong enough to be an in-line blocker at the tight end position.  But the position has changed; it has become more of a receiver position and Mike fits it like a glove.  Mike has the potential to be as productive and as important to his team as Eric Decker is to the Denver Broncos.  He might not have the pure foot speed that Eric has, but I bet when he is timed, he has the same speed as Larry Fitzgerald.  Mike has excellent talent to become your #1 receiver, which makes him a sleeper receiver in this draft filled with good receivers in almost every round.  I'm not sure what round Mike will be drafted -- or even if Mike will get drafted at all.  That's why we have the two board system at THR -- to prove to you that there is talent in every round and every round is as important as the first round to select talent that can help your team.  I would personally draft Mike before I would draft the tight end from Notre Dame in this draft, but that's just me.  Others will disagree.  Mike is a little "different" and we all know how NFL teams don't always necessarily appreciate "different" -- you know, different like left-handed quarterbacks, players who are "too religious" or quarterbacks from California.  I'm not sure why they haven't seen the talent in Mike and did not invite him to any draft related games or the combine!  Maybe it's the way he combs his hair.  Whatever the case may be, the NFL scouts chose not to involve this kid, who has led his team in catches for the last three years.  I guess he was foolish; perhaps he should have been arrested to draw some attention to himself.  Mike is a impact player waiting to happen for a smart offensive coordinator.  He can be as good as Eric Decker is for the Denver Broncos which is pretty good, I think!

 

Drew"The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Feb/2013