For your prospect of the day on this wonderful Saturday morning, I wanted to bring up a guy that I've been a little bit intrigued with, Boise State's Shea McClellin. He's intriguing because he's that mix of defensive end and linebacker with some length and versatility, and the Seahawks have shown interest in players like this and more specifically with those two attributes. He doesn't have elite speed or athleticism, but rather shows instincts and again, an ability to play several positions that make him an intriguing mid-round guy to keep an eye on. Several experts I respect talked about him recently as well, so I thought I'd point you to that.
Rob Rang wrote about him a few weeks back. Per Rang:
Listed by the Broncos at 6-3, 255 pounds, McClellin was moved around a great deal but saw the majority of his snaps at defensive end, where he's currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a fourth-round value. McClellin accepted the invitation to the Senior Bowl, anticipating he would remain at the position but perhaps see some time at linebacker. Instead, he has worked almost exclusively at linebacker, taking virtually every snap Wednesday on the weak side and proving his versatility and draft grade are perhaps significantly underrated.
"I didn't think I'd be playing pure linebacker here. ... I thought I was going to be doing a little bit of both," McClellin said. "But, it is kind of my choice, too, doing a lot of work at linebacker. I have a lot of film at defensive end and outside linebacker. They put me at weakside and I thought it would be a good idea just to show my skills in that area."
In that same article, Mike Singletary weighed in:
"Let me just say this, if [McClellin] wants to play D-line, he can play D-line. If he wants to play linebacker, he can play linebacker. He is the kind of guy that can fit either way.
"He's a guy that right now is about 255 pounds. He can pick up and go to 275 and go back to D-line or he can stay where he's at. He's got a lot of good stuff ahead of him because he's also a worker. You find a guy like him with his versatility and intangibles -- he's also a smart kid -- and he's going to be just fine at the next level."
Rang continues by talking about McClellin's switch from mostly-DE at BSU to playing mostly linebacker at the Senior Bowl.
Proving much more comfortable than expected considering his lack of experience at the position, McClellin showed good diagnosis skills, quickly attacking gaps in the running game. He took on blocks aggressively, using his long, strong arms to quickly disengage as well as the flexibility and awareness to keep his feet free from the mass of humanity surrounding him near the line of scrimmage. Though not allowed to take ball carriers to the ground during practice, McClellin closed quickly and wrapped up securely before releasing them to finish their runs. As impressive as McClellin was defending the run, it was his surprising agility and awareness in coverage that caught some by surprise.
Look - I don't really know what the Seahawks are looking for in their linebackers. Pete Carroll stressed the need for speed at the position in his offseason presser but it's pretty well known they value instincts and coverage ability in their linebackers as well. They also stress the importance of scheme versatility and an ability to get after the passer but also run with tight ends and running backs, so McClellin just intrigues me. He's also the kind of guy I could see just kicking ass and taking names on special teams, and I know the Seahawks place a bit of importance on that as well.
Jene Bremel - a writer for FootballGuys.com and the Rookie Scouting Porfolio - recently wrote on McClellin:
Tweeners that can play either 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB are common. But the term tweener implies a pass rushing prospect, not necessarily a player who can drop into coverage well enough to have potential value as a 4-3 SLB or 3-4 LOLB. Cam Johnson, Melvin Ingram, Courtney Upshaw and Vinny Curry are all tweeners in that traditional sense but aren't guys that will be asked to do something other than rush the passer for more than a token snap here or there. A solid pass rushing prospect, McClellin backed up glimpses of all-around linebacker play on tape by flashing the ability to turn and run with backs and tight ends during practice this week. Such versatility can push an otherwise one-dimensional pass rushing prospect from the 5th or 6th round into the 3rd.
Anyway - these attributes remind me vaguely of K.J. Wright and we saw the Seahawks take him in the fourth round, then eventually insert him into the starting lineup, successfully, in year one. Check out some more on McClellin after the jump, and I've also included some college football links to read as well.
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