Draft Spotlight: DE Shea McClellin

The Bears are showing first-round interest in Shea McClellin from Boise State, a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker. Let's go to the film to see how he might fit in Chicago.

The Chicago Bears are looking for pass rush help in the upcoming NFL Draft. It's at the top of the team's list of priorities, making it highly likely they'll draft a defensive lineman in the first two rounds.

Numerous names are being thrown out as potential first-round candidates for the club, including former Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin.

McClellin (6-3, 260) is a hybrid player who lined up at end, outside linebacker and inside linebacker during his three years as a starter for the Broncos. Let's take a look at the tape to see if he might be a good fit in Chicago.


DE Shea McClellin
Otto Kitsinger/Getty

Pros

-Fast off the ball on passing downs.
-Active hands.
-Has quickness to turn corner and close rapidly on the passer.
-Relentless getting after the QB.
-Good arsenal of pass rush moves.
-Effective on slants and stunts.
-Quick feet. Good change-of-direction skills.
-Keeps eyes in backfield when defending the run.
-Good backside pursuit.

Cons

-Undersized for a defensive end.
-Lacks ideal upper body strength.
-Too easily blocked against the run. Bigger offensive linemen eat him up.
-Does not disengage well.
-Works hard at point of attack but is too easily moved out of the hole.
-Not a big hitter. More of a drag tackler.

Analysis

McClellin is a highly athletic player with experience and position versatility. He's attractive as a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE. On film, he had his most success getting to the passer from a three-point stance.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, McClellin did very well for himself. His 4.63 40-yard dash was second best amongst defensive linemen. He ranked near the top in most of the other drills, except for bench press, where his 19 reps were very disappointing.

For the Bears, McClellin would fill the role of a situational pass rusher. He struggles mightily against the run and won't be able to take on big NFL offensive linemen unless he packs on weight and strength. He could rotate with Israel Idonije, coming in on passing downs to take advantage of the attention opposing teams pay Julius Peppers.

Yet that's as far as his value goes for a 4-3 club. On first and second down, he'll be nonexistent. Meaning he'll only get on the field for 10-20 snaps every game. Spending a first round pick on a player that can only do one thing within the system seems like a reach. The Bears might be able to find a similar player in West Virginia's Bruce Irvin in the second round. Jacquies Smith of Missouri and Tim Fugger of Vanderbilt, both late-round prospects, may also be able to fill that role.

McClellin's best fit is in a 3-4, where he can fully utilize his speed and quickness. Putting him in space as a linebacker would mitigate some of his deficiencies as a run stopper.

His skill set is intriguing, but for Chicago's 4-3 scheme, he's too much of a reach in the first round.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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