With ends Whitney Mercilius (Illinois) and Chandler Jones (Syracuse) available, it was a surprise that GM Phil Emery and Co. went with McClellin.
A three-year starter at Boise State, McClellin where he made 130 tackles, 33 tackles-for-loss, 20.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
He fell under the radar due to the fact he played strongside linebacker at the Senior Bowl. The Bears already know that he was a high-motor end, which made them desire him even more.
He ran the second fastest 40-yard dash (4.63) behind only Bruce Irvin, who was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 15th pick.
The Bears attended his pro day at Boise and also put him through a private workout. He made 16.5 sacks in his final two seasons at Boise State.
He had 7.0 sacks a year ago and 9.5 in his junior year.
The 6’3″, 260 lb end is described as “lean, smooth-muscled, active, instinctive, with a relentless temperament” by Pro Football Weekly.
McClellin didn’t think he would be selected in the first round, but the Bears clearly graded him higher than most teams. GM Phil Emery views him as “a four-down player”, who “excels on special teams” (via Chicagobears.com).
Emery also believes McClellin gives the Bears plenty of “versatility” on defense and that he will “start off as a left defensive end” this seson. Emery also likes the fact that McClellin “gets off of his blocks.”
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay had McClellin ranked as the 19th best prospect on his board and that’s where the Bears took him.
McShay said this about the Bears defensive end: “McClellin is making a late push up the board. He lines up all over the front seven and has a quick first step and violent hands. He wilface a bit of a learning curve at the next level, but the arrow is clearly pointing up.”
Analysis: The Bears seem to have filled a need with an under the radar player, who has a lot of potential at the next level.
GM Phil Emery is confident and has clearly looked at all of his options, which bodes well heading into rounds 2-7 for the Bears.
McClellin will have his chances to shine this upcoming season on the opposite side of Pro Bowler Julius Peppers. He could get a lot of one-on-one opportunities due to the fact that Peppers draws a lot of double teams.
This could be the move that takes the Bears defense over the top. Atleast on paper the Bears look to be a much better team on their defensive front.
I’m sure NFC North quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers (GB) and Matthew Stafford (DET) are not pleased with this upgrade in Chicago.