To say Shea McClellin has been under producing since he was drafted might be too much of an understatement for some.  Recent reports say fans are clamoring for the Chicago Bears to cut the #19 overall pick from the 2012 draft.  The word ‘bust’ is used often when describing failures from the first round of yester-year, have you already tagged Shea a first round bust?

Something to consider is the Chicago Bears run primarily a 4-3 defense, rather than the 3-4 most thought Shea was more fit for.  They even mention it on his NFL.com draft profile:

OVERVIEW

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. (via NFL.com)

Shea McClellin a Linebacker

So is it much of a surprise he is under producing in the 4-3?  Mully and Hanley reported that McClellin was ranked LAST among defensive ends by Pro Football Focus.com recently as well.

McClellin a Linebacker or Bust?

Playing about 3 years in the NFL is about long enough to declare a bust – but Shea is only on year #2, yet he is criticized often because of his first round status.  Lets take a look at how Shea compares to some other first round picks that were popular in 2012.

Shea McClellin a Linebacker

 

Shea McClellin a Linebacker

Shea McClellin a Linebacker

 

Easy to look at the stats and consider that Shea is under performing, no argument there.  However, if he is playing out of position, is that the reason why?

Playing against mobile QBs should be where a player like McClellin shines.  Speed on the edge and backside pursuit.  McClellin is struggling at the intial point of attack and ending up a step or two late on plays.  But his energy and athleticism should allow him to to seal the edges when playing against the ‘new age’ QBs with speed.

Considering a player a ‘bust’ takes about 3 years in my opinion.  The Chicago Bears should not be giving up on Shea McClellin just yet, they should focus on using him more effectively.  Even if it means moving him to OLB eventually.

By the way, did you know that next year Shea McClellin is projected to be the 3rd highest paid player on our defense?  Yikes.

Photos from Chicago Now, NFL.com

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