Bears select Boise State DE Shea McClellin

Bears select Boise State DE Shea McClellin

When Chicago's pick came in at No. 19, a lot of Bears fan’s reactions were similar to this: “Wait, who?” But the Bears did exhaustive work on DE/OLB Shae McClellin and brought him in to Halas Hall for a private pre-Draft workout.

Here’s the deal: McClellin has great size, excellent movement skills, a quick first step, and (very important here) he can drop into coverage. He also has . . . I almost hesitate to say it . . . all the intangibles. He’s a great guy with a very high motor and a desire to excel (those would be intangibles). The question marks? He has marginal strength and is not an elite athlete.

Make no mistake: this is a Phil Emery pick. And Emery will have to own it, success or not. McClellin is not the type of player one would expect Lovie Smith to put his name on, and Emery had said he and Smith would collaborate exclusively on Draft decisions. Lovie likes the pure athlete and the guy with imposing strength/size. McClellin is neither.

Projected as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme, McClellin will likely play DE in the Bears’ current 4-3. And, while he was projected best suited for the 3-4, same as Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, he’s a more versatile player . . . by far. I said from day-one that I didn’t think the Bears would take a guy like Mercilus, a situational rusher and a “one-trick pony.” McClellin is not that. “This is an all-downs football player, including special teams,” Emery said.

McClellin is first defensive end taken in round-one by Bears since Michael Haynes in 2003 and the first DE taken at pick No. 19 in the NFL in the last 14 years.

GM Phil Emery said, simply, that McClellin graded out higher than other available players like Chandler Jones and Whitney Mercilus. "In terms of his natural ability, he showed us some things that the other defensive ends did not show us."

McClellin comes to Chicago by way of Boise State. He had an impressive showing at the Combine with a 4.63 40-yard dash, second best among defensive ends.

My opinion? Initially, I like the pick. I’ll love it if he produces.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Emery said. “Because ultimately each team has got to decide who is right for them. You’ll find where the guys that are outside linebacker candidates, you have to make a decision for a 4-3 and whether that’s a true right d-end athlete or he’s a base left d-end.”

We’ll have a lot more in the coming days.

Filed under: Draft

Tags: Shea McClellin


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  • My initial instincts were violently suggesting that I take my $25 favorite Chicago Bear mug filled with orange Sunkist & toss it at my 61" Samsung LED television!

    "Don't kill the messenger!" screamed Common-Sense at the very last second before I'd been forced to falsify a police report that decried that I had been apparently a victim of random burglary & NOT a victim of IFR (impulsive fan rage) syndrome.

    In that very moment of clarity I had an epiphany...

    What if this Phil Emery guy really knows what he's doing?


    Maybe, the resources that this man has that ultimately laments his ability (& outright audacity) to make personnel decisions that I for one can agree, I do not have, nor do I have the capacity or the capability to pull off with my limited "research" & "insight" heavily influenced by the likes of pundits & tv personalities. Maybe...just maybe, I'm not as smart as my PFW Draft Preview guide would allow me to believe.

    What if Shea McClellan is the next Jared Allen, John Abraham, or Dwight Freeney??? The pundits said they were too small too.


    Angelo (I'm assuming) would have went with Mercilus just to avoid the pressures of failure. That my friends, is an Emery positive that we can not overlook. So if Phil & the gang thinks that Mr. Lunchpale can contribute more to our beloved football team than the prospects that were available when the unpopular decision was made, I say defiantly, "We stand behind it 100%!"

    Here's to tv warranties & non-alcoholic beverages!! *cheers*


  • In reply to Alpha79:

    Good points, all.

  • In reply to Alpha79:

    I even tweeted part of this comment since I loved it so much:!/adamspeaks/status/195873315280261120

  • Alpha 79 could not have worded my exact feelings better.

  • I'll reserve judgment on McClellin, but initially think he was a reach at the 19th pick. I think the Bears could have traded down, secured an additional pick, and still got McClellin. With McClellin projected as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme, I'm surprised they didn't select Nick Perry (USC) who was projected as a better fit for the 4-3. Anyway, the NFL draft is a craps shoot, and hope this kid turns out to be a stud for many years to come. Should be interesting to see what needs the Bears address in successive rounds.

  • He was a reach at No. 19, and many people are critical because they think the Bears could have traded down and picked him later if he was their guy. The flipside to that is, as Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times reported last night, both the Packers and the Patriots were very high on McClellin, and Emery just decided to play it safe in terms of being sure he'd get his guy.

    Whether or not the actual pick is safe is questionable. But think about the other two teams who were so high on this guy . . . the Pats’ and Packers’ scouting departments are among the best in the League.

    Emery is a scout, through and through, and I know he did more homework on this guy than you, I or any other fan has/will do. That's not a slight; I'm just suggesting we reserve judgment, as Aero said. We don't know what this kid will be. We could be touting this pick as a stroke of genius by next season . . .

  • I had to be scraped off the ceiling last night over this pick. I was having Jerry Angelo flashbacks...I saw images of Dan Bauzin in my dreams last night....I couldn't help but reliving the same emotions and rage I felt when the Bears drafted David Terrell and Anthony Thomas 1&2 instead of grabbing Duece Mcallister and trading up for Drew Brees.

    Well, my blood pressure has come down...sanity has returned and I am still angry because they could have selected the #2 LT in the draft and traded up .... or not and grabbed him....or not. There was no need to take him with #19.

    The Bears did not select the best player available in a position of need...LT. I didn't think they would go after a WR and a DE does not suprise me...what does, that they turned their nose up at Reily Reiff when he fell to them....I am still yelling UNBELIEVABLE! Well I will go meditate and calm down and try to get ready for rounds 2 & 3.

    You know what might just suck for Bears fans? We get to be reminded twice a year what we might have had because the Lions grabbed Reiff...maybe he will flop and I can say Whew!...but I don't think so.

  • In reply to Mouser:

    It's a fair criticism. The only thing I can say is that it's well known at Halas Hall that the Bears realize they have a closing window of opportunity. The goal, because of that, is to win in 2012. If McClellin is as versatile and underrated as Emery says he is, than why is DE less important than OT? Because tackles almost never contribute at a high level straight out of the gate. McClellin could, and he also could prove to be a replacement for Brian Urlacher. I think he grades out nicely to be groomed for that role. If he produces, you won't care what Reiff is doing up in Detroit.

  • In reply to Mouser:

    Mouser ... agree totally. When Reiff and Stanford's DeCastro were still undrafted I thought the Bears might actually jump on the chance to bolster their OL, which has been their weakest link for several years and is still suspect. DeCastro is a monster and the highest rated OG in the draft, and Reiff could have given the Bears a potential starting OLT for many years. He certainly couldn't perform any worse the Jamarcus "turnstile" Webb. However, I'm not surprised at them drafting a DE, just dismayed it was McClellin at #19. Like I said in my earlier post, I hope McClellin turns into a sack machine and perennial all-pro.

  • I am 6'1" tall & weigh an anemic 268lbs.

    I've been terrorizing NFL QB's for years now & have managed to make 7 Pro-Bowls & 3 All-Pro teams.

    I've been named 'Defensive Player of the Year' & is a member of the illustrious '100 sack club'.

    I've done these things as a DE in a zone-defensive scheme often times referred to as the 'Tampa-2'.

    I am a Super Bowl champion & future Hall of Famer.

    Who am I?

  • He'd better get used to playing on a field that is NOT blue.

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