Film Study: Boise State’s Shea McClellin
By Tyler Dunne, Journal-Sentinel
~Shea McClellin (Boise State), OLB/DE
- 6 feet, 3 3/8 inches
- 260 pounds
- 40 time: 4.63 sec
- Bench: 19 reps
- Vertical leap: 31.5″
- Broad jump: 118″
- 3-cone drill: 7.07 sec
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.33 sec
- 2008: 14 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack, 3 FF
- 2009: 36 tackles (6 for loss), 3 sacks
- 2010: 30 tackles (13.5 for loss), 9.5 sacks, 1 FF
- 2011: 50 tackles (12.5 for loss), 7 sacks, 1 FF
On his strength: “I think that’s one of my biggest assets — versatility. This year, especially, I lined up all over. I played outside, inside ‘backer, I even played nickel at times.”
— McClellin nails it. Versatility is his best asset. He has lined up in a three-point stance at defensive end, upright as an outside linebacker and also in the middle. Boise State as a team is extremely active pre-snap, but McClellin always appears calm and comfortable. He turns the corner effectively at both DE and OLB. On one 3rd and 8 against Georgia in the season opener, McClellin embarrassed first-round prospect Cordy Glenn. He cleanly beat Glenn off the edge immediately. Glenn could only lunge in desperation and try to hold McClellin as the end flew by and lassoed QB Aaron Murray around the ankles for a sack.
— An overachiever who doesn’t give up on plays. In Boise State’s bowl win over Arizona State, QB Brock Osweiler stepped into the pocket and appeared to have running room upfield. McClellin spun off LG Evan Finkenberg and tracked down Osweiler from behind for just a two-yard gain. We throw around “high motor” way too much in our business. With McClellin, it’s justified.
— Technically sound. McClellin isn’t a freelancer. He understands his role each play and rarely floats out of position. With the Broncos pounding the Sun Devils 21-0 in that bowl win, Arizona State tried running wide. From the ROLB spot, lined up over the tight end’s head, McClellin read run and effectively forced all action inside. He shrugged off TE Trevor Kohl and pulling C Garth Gerhart to trip up the running back for a three-yard loss. The play wasn’t flashy, but McClellin did everything right to allow a host of teammates to clog the play as well.
— Solid form tackler. On a fourth and 1 against Georgia, Bulldogs TE Orson Charles didn’t lay a finger on McClellin who stormed in to stuff Richard Samuel in his tracks for a loss. Good instincts, too. From the MLB spot in that same game, McClellin timed an A-gap blitz well and caved the pocket for a half-sack.
— The more you watch Boise State’s defense, the more you notice just how talented and fast it is across the board. This is no mid-major guppy. McClellin was surrounded by athletes, who definitely made his job easier. The Broncos also didn’t face great competition. McClellin probably should have had more than seven sacks last season.
— Had one solo tackle against Toledo and was hardly visible throughout the game. On one 20-yard screen pass, McClellin was unblocked and was a split-second slow on sacking QB Austin Dantin. At times, his short-ish arms (32 ¾”) are apparent. Compare that to Syracuse’s Chandler Jones (35 ½”) or Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus (33 7/8”). Look at the best pass rushers in the league. Long arms are critical to the position.
— Average athleticism. Doesn’t have elite burst around offensive tackles. Part of the problem may be that Boise State asked McClellin to do so much. He lacks an array of pass-rush moves others have in this draft class and was neutralized by double-teams. Not as strong as others at his position (18 reps), thus massive pro tackles could pose a problem
As we wrote last week, the Packers are interested in McClellin. In many ways, he’s exactly the type of linebacker Kevin Greene covets. McClellin is intelligent, relies on strong fundamentals and has a no-quit playing style. Once projected as a fourth-rounder, McClellin’s versatility seems to be driving him into the first-round discussion. Should he be? We’ll say ‘yes.’ While McClellin lacks the eye-popping surge of USC’s Nick Perry, he gives a more consistent effort. His numbers at the NFL scouting combine don’t do McClellin justice as he plays fast and instinctive. He should be on the Packers’ radar.
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