Bears Pass on Bigger Names, O-Line to Select Shea McClellin
If you read the tea leaves, you had a pretty good inking the Bears were going to select a defensive end with their first round pick at #19. You probably spit that tea out when the Bears selected DE/OLB Shea McClellin. When I put my poll together for which DE the Bears should select, I didn’t even have him listed. Most reactions I saw among fans on Twitter were something to the effect of “Who?”
Whitney Mercilus, DE out of Illinois was still on the board, a player to whom the Bears had been linked for several weeks. So were bigger names like Nick Perry and Chandler Jones
The belief was that the Bears would go for a DE because the top offensive linemen would be loooong gone by the time they selected, but there were a few options that could step in immediately to bolster the offensive line. As the draft unfolded, it was becoming clear that the Bears would have a tough choice to make. Very few mock drafts had Iowa’s Riley Reiff on the board when the Bears selected. Most mocks also had Standford G David DeCastro going in the top 10-15 picks, so there was definitely some value to be had out there.
The Bears opted for McClellin, whose stock was on the rise in the days leading up to the draft.
I have to admit, I didn’t know very much about McClellin but as I’ve read up on him, I think he will be a solid addition for the Bears. Immediately, he steps in as a situational pass rusher. In a pass-happy division like the NFC North, he’ll see plenty of action in nickel personnel packages. He’ll work in a rotation with Izzy Idonije opposite Julius Peppers.
He’s versatile and could play some linebacker too, with some thinking he could succeed #54 when he decides he’s done playing. It’s a pick that helps the Bears immediately and could reap big benefits down the road.
Do you agree with the Bears selecting Shea McClellin when there were some bigger names available at #19?