Considering the disaster known as “The Trestman-Emery Era in Chicago,” Shea McClellin may never be thought of as first round talent no matter what happens moving forward. That being said, there’s still hope for the young buck – one more year of hope. McClellin is set to become a unrestricted free agent in 2016, leaving him one season with the new regime to finally prove himself to Bears fans. Chicago will now lineup in a 3-4 defense which was considered the best spot for McClellin back in the 2012 NFL Draft.
“McClellin has started three consecutive years at defensive end for Boise State. He is an undersized DE who 3-4 teams will value at the OLB position. At just under 260 pounds, he can struggle at times against bigger linemen, but he has fifth-round value.” (Draft Profile)
Not sure why Phil Emery pegged him as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense which directly contradicted his strengths, but that’s in the past. The “undersized white boy from a small school” has another chance because new Chicago Bears head coach John Fox liked him in college and seems eager to watch him perform in a 3-4.
#Bears coach John Fox said Shea McClellin will get first look at inside linebacker in 3-4. He said he was high on him coming out in draft.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) March 25, 2015
The only difference now … McClellin will be an inside linebacker to start, not an outside linebacker.
First newsy nugget from Fox: Shea McClellin will begin at inside LB, but Fox also plans to try him outside. Shea has been training for OLB
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) March 25, 2015
Widely known in Chicago for being a first round bust, McClellin also broke Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone leaving a glimmer of hope for him in the eyes of Bears fans.
With compeition expected from Jon Bostic, Christian Jones and recently signed Mason Foster, #99 has his work cut out for him to earn a starting spot. Let’s hope Vic Fangio has a plan to better utilize McClellin because he’s only got 7.5 sacks heading into his fourth season, that wasn’t the expectation when he was selected by the Bears with the 19th overall pick.
Prediction: McClellin surprises people this year.