Well, the time difference was all too much for me over here in the UK, and I wasn't able to watch live coverage of the draft. So I awoke this morning to the exciting news that the Bears drafted Boise State's defensive end Shea McClellin with the 19th pick in the draft.
I like this pick a lot. McClellin was a player who moved up quickly in some of the most recent mock drafts, and although the choice might have come as a surprise to some, I can see why Emery and the Bears decided to go with it.
Let's put Shea McClellin under the microscope and see what he can bring to the table as the Bears number one pick.
Although McClellin is listed as a defensive end, he has experience at the linebacker position. At 6'3 and 260 lbs, he has the size and speed to perform well at linebacker, but I think the Bears have drafted him to primarily add another pass rushing dimension to the defensive line.
Julius Peppers is obviously one of the best pass rushers in the league, but Chicago have lacked a additional threat for some time. Israel Idonije, although getting to the QB at times, is more suited to stopping the run than sacking the quarterback. If McClellin can step in straight away and play opposite Peppers, the Bears could have a frightening pass rush.
McClellin is a fast athlete (he ran a 4.63 at the combine in the 40-yard dash). He has quick feet and can cover the field from sideline to sideline. His pursuit of the football is excellent, and also has the ability to drop back into pass coverage.
He finished his career at Boise State with 130 tackles, 20 sacks, and 4 interceptions. He has a nose for the football, and has the speed and strength to get to quarterback.
One of the things that must have attracted to Bears to McClellin was the manner in which he plays the game. He is extremely competitive and plays with a passion and aggression that fans in Chicago should immediately appreciate.
There are some question marks regarding his size as a defensive lineman. At 260 lbs, he may be on the small size, but I think he more than makes up for this with his speed and strength, as well as having a lot of different moves in his efforts to get to the QB.
As we approached the draft, the consensus seemed to be that Chicago were going to draft a defensive lineman. They have addressed a lot of needs recently at other positions, but this was their chance to add a dynamic player who should be able to contribute immediately.
It's interesting to note that wide receiver Kendall Wright was taken with the 20th pick. Before the Bears snapped up Brandon Marshall, there was a chance that Wright may have been one of the receivers the Bears might have chosen. There was also a lot of early talk about Chicago drafting an offensive lineman in the first round. And while I still think they need to strengthen the line, a player like McClellin was just too good to pass on. he was available and they pulled the trigger.
With McClellin, the Bears have themselves a great football player. He has no immediate red flags, and his combination of speed and strength means he should be able to contribute straight away.
Other notes and links:
It has been reported that McClellin's jersey number will be 99.
Go here to listen to Shea McClellin's conference call after being drafted by the Bears.
And here's a video of our number one pick, so we can see what we have to look forward to: