The Chicago Bears tabbed Boise State defensive end/linebacker Shea McClellin with their first round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
The selection of McClellin surprised some Bears fans with Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus still on the board, but the organization really liked what it saw from him and how he fits with defensive stalwarts Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher.
He showed us some natural pass-rushing ability the other defensive ends [still left on the board] did not, Bears general manager Phil Emery said on a conference call. Shea is a high-level player. He's relentless with his motor.
He's got really quick feet and hands as a pass-rusher, Emery said. 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.
McClellin said that he is excited to play next to Peppers and Urlacher during his first conference call with the Chicago media on Thursday night, according to ESPN Chicago. During his career at Boise State, McClellin had 130 tackles and 20.5 sacks.
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The Bears became very interested in him after watching him perform in the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder has been viewed as a 3-4, 4-3 tweener by some, but Emery likes his versatility.
At the Senior Bowl, he played more linebacker than rushing, so that was kinda good for us because not as many people saw him as a rusher, he said. He played SAM backer in that game and all we could find on tape out of all the one on one Senior Bowl rushes was one rush. So people got into him late.