2012 NFL Draft: Did the Chicago Bears Reach Picking Shea McClellin with Pick 19?

Michael Gibbons@DachicagofanCorrespondent IIApril 27, 2012

With the 19th pick in the 2012 NFL draft the Chicago Bears select outside linebacker Shea McClellin from Boise State.

Say what?

General manager Phil Emery said a lot with his first draft pick and what he said is that he isn't afraid to take a risk. What a change from former GM Jerry Angelo, who always seemed scared of taking a big risk in the draft.

But was this the right risk to take?

The Bears decided to pass on selecting Whitney Mercilus, Chandler Jones and Nick Perry to select McClellin, who was projected to be a 3-4 linebacker. Emery said in his press conference that they view McClellin as a left defensive end, to play opposite Julius Peppers.

He showed us some natural pass-rushing ability the other defensive ends [still left on the board] did not, Shea is a high-level player. He's relentless with his motor. He's got really quick feet and hands as a pass-rusher. He has natural hips as a pass-rusher. In his normal starting role at Boise was as a middle linebacker, and he would come down and rush on third downs or in sub-package situations. There is a lot of versatility with this player.

During his four-year college career he totaled just 20.5 sacks and 33 tackles for a loss. Perry had more sacks in one less season and Mercilus almost had that many in one season. He had 16 sacks last season for the Fighting Illini.

Emery seems to have nothing but faith that McClellin will be able to handle playing defensive end. He even sent their D-line coach to run him through a private workout. 

Shouldn't Rob Marinelli have gone to work him out? 

Looking at the measurables, McClellin compares favorably to sack leader, Jared Allen. Both are 6'3" and ran similar times and jumped similar distances. Allen even attended Idaho State.

A big difference is that Allen went in the fourth round, 126th overall, while McClellin went 19th overall. If he is half as successful it'd probably be viewed as a great pick, since he has 105 sacks in eight seasons.

The last time the Bears selected a defensive end in the first-round was nine years ago when they picked Michael Haynes with the 14th overall pick. He only lasted four years in the league so let's hope for a better outcome this time around.

Since drafting Haynes they have used six picks on defensive ends. The most successful being Mark Anderson in his rookie year, while the least had to be Dan Bazuin, who never suited up for a game.

So now the question is have they drafted the next Allen or the next Bazuin?

What do you think Bears fans? Sound off below.

 

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @dachicagofan, and check out my weekly Bears podcast every Monday on my site The MG Experience.


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