We're not that far removed from a time when Shea McClellin was considered a third round talent, but he's shot up mock drafts and he's now a popular selection for the Green Bay Packers at No. 28. Even if he's being a bit overrated by the mock drafters, he's certainly not falling to the Pack at No. 59. He could be a more realistic selection for the Packers in a trade up-down scenario, but he's a realistic selection nonetheless.
McClellin has a lot of upside in terms of ... here's the buzzword again ... scheme flexibility. He played all over the place on the Boise State Broncos defense, and his ability to play in just about any defensive scheme is going to make him appealing to a lot of teams. He arguably played his best football when playing as a 4-3 defensive end in college, but did a lot of standing up in multiple schemes and there's no reason to believe that he won't translate to 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He played a lot of it and he has the measurables to do it.
After the jump, we'll take a look at that measurable info, some expert opinions, and some tape.
Here's a McClellin scouting report from the wonderfully biased and sarcastic One Bronco Nation Under God.
McClellin was far from the top Boise State prospect at the beginning of the 2011 college football season, and he wasn't near the top when the season ended, either. But a stellar Senior Bowl, fantastic combine, solid workouts, and the discovery of his versatility (catnip to NFL scouts), he is a borderline Day One pick and will be sitting in the green room in New York, waiting to hear his name called. I hear they might serve Chick-fil-a.
When to start getting excited about McClellin coming off the board. He could be drafted late Thursday night toward the end of the first round. If not, then expect him to go early in the second.
Potentially interested teams. Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots in Round One, everyone and their mother in Round Two.
McClellin alternatives. If teams don't want to draft the Boise Stater, they are dumb, and they may choose instead to take Ingram, Illinois' Whitney Mercilus, USC's Nick Perry, or Clemson's Andre Branch.
Biggest strength. Versatility. McClellin worked out at inside linebacker at the Senior Bowl, and NFL teams can see him playing that hybrid OLB / DE in the 3-4 schemes that so many teams run. Or, he could just pin his ears back and rush the passer, like he was born to do.
Biggest weakness. He cares too much (also, lacks prototypical NFL size).
And here's what NFL Network's Mike Mayock had to say, transcribed from a conference call that our own David Fucillo of Niners Nation listened in on. This was in response to a question about who would be a good fit for the Houston Texans.
And if Shea McClellin from Boise is there, I would value him a lot. He's a guy that's risen him a lot but I see Mike Vrabel when I look at Shea McClellin. He's going to fit somebody's 3-4 defense at the tail end of the first round, and I think he's going to be a ten-year starter; and I think he fits in perfectly with who you have there now.
Size - 6'3", 260 lbs, 32 3/4" arms, 10 1/8" hands
40-Yard Dash - 4.63 seconds
Bench Press - 19 reps
Vertical Jump - 31.5-inches
Broad Jump - 118.0 inches
3-Cone Drill - 7.07 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle - 4.33 seconds
One kind youtuber cut together and uploaded a video of every snap that McClellin played in Boise State's win over Georgia. McClellin doesn't have a ridiculous standout performance in this game, but he looks good on every snap and shows incredible versatility, playing EIGHT different positions.
Here's a highlight compilation, which is the only one I could find that did not feature profanity-laden screamo or rap music. This one features "Rocky Mountain Way" by Joe Walsh, which is an excellent choice for a highlight tape for a Boise State player.
Verdict: A great player...to trade down a few spots for
Shea McClellin is going to have a solid pro career as a 3-4 outside linebacker, especially with the growing prevalence of the 3-4, but I am unconvinced based on his limited work in coverage, upper body strength, stats and the level of competition that he played against that he will be a Pro Bowl-caliber guy. He has a frame to add bulk and he is comfortable standing up, however, so I could be very wrong.
My gut is that both the Patriots and Packers pass on McClellin, leaving him to go in early-mid Round 2. I think he's going to be a productive NFL player, but I'm unconvinced by his upper body strength and the competition he played against. Georgia was far and away the best team that Boise State played last season, and while McClellin was solid, he was by no means dominant.
The good news for him and the team that drafts him is that similar criticisms (questionable upper body strength and competition) were the knocks on guys like DeMarcus Ware, Jason Pierre-Paul and Connor Barwin coming out of school. Those three players all play in different schemes and were all top ten in sacks in the NFL last season.