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Mike Shanahan Compares Washington Redskins’ Niles Paul to Shannon Sharpe

May 16th, 2012 at 3:53 PM
By Justin Fiore

In an interview with ESPN 980, The Sports Fix, Mike Shanahan confirmed that Niles Paul was transitioning to tight end and that he reminded him of Shannon Sharpe.

'Niles Paul' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

He gives you a chance to have a difference maker at the tight end position

I hate to compare anybody to a hall of fame player going into his second year, but Shannon Sharpe came into Denver exactly the same height. He was about five pounds less than Niles Paul weighed [Niles is currently 6'1", 235 pounds according to Shanny]…We moved him over to the tight end position and had a pretty darn good career."

No doubt about that. And Niles Paul wouldn't even have to produce immediately to stay on pace; In Shannon Sharpe's switch to tight end, he caught just 22 passes for 322 yards in his sophomore season. Mike Shanahan doesn't think the transition will slow him down either.

Niles’ got the mind set to be an excellent player. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make the transition very easily. 

However, there is a lot of completion at the tight end position. Fred Davis and Chris Cooley are no brainers entering 2012, but Logan Paulsen and Richard Quinn are also fighting for the third—and final—roster spot.

Niles Paul appears to have an early edge for one reason; his flexibility. Not only is his receiving upside through the roof, but he also plays special teams, and apparently, could see some time at fullback this season, says Mike Shanahan.

He could actually move to the full back position as well. Sometimes you’ll take that tight end on the line of scrimmage, you can motion him back in the backfield, and it gives you a number of things to be able to do offensively that you haven’t been able to do in the past.

The prospect is interesting for sure. We saw how good he was at run blocking last year at 224 pounds. Now at 235 pounds, Nile Paul should be an effective offensive weapon for the Shanahans.

Let us know what you think…


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Tags: Chris Cooley, Football, Fred Davis, Mike Shanahan, NFL, Niles Paul, Washington, Washington Redskins

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