Packers 1st Round Target: OLB Shea McClellin : Packers Insider

Packers 1st Round Target: OLB Shea McClellin

April 12, 2012 by  
Filed under News

By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider senior editor

~Three years ago, Packers GM Ted Thompson knew he needed a pass rushing threat at OLB for his new 3-4 defense being installed by new defensive coordinator Dandy Dom Capers.

Packer fans knew this as well.

As soft as the Packers defense, and pass rush, was last year, can you imagine how much worse it would have been had Thompson not traded up in 2009 and stolen Clay Matthews?

What they didn’t know was that Thompson would buck his trend of trading down, and instead he traded up to the latter stages of round one and shocked almost everyone by taking Clay Matthews with the pick at #26.

Matthews had the bloodlines, but he only had one year of starting experience, and didn’t have a great body of work at USC. Looking back now, it was a great pick. I believe it’s Thompson’s best move as GM, but that’s for another day’s debate.

Fast forward to today, and it’s as clear now as it was then, that Capers needs another guy who can get to the QB. In 2009, Matthews was available at pick #26. This time, Thompson has the #28 pick.

One guy who might be there is Boise State’s Shea McClellin, who will be a natural OLB in the NFL for some team who plays the 3-4 defense.McClellin is 6-3, 260 pounds, and has the speed and agility to become a Kevin Greene-type OLB.

Gamebreaking Speed: Like Matthews, McClellin has shown the ability to take the ball and run.

A month or longer ago, he was viewed as a probably third round prospect, maybe late 2nd. But now it would appear that McClellin will be gone by the end of the first round, and sources say he could go before the Packers #28 pick comes up, possibly to New England right before the Packers pick.

What makes McClellin such a high riser in the months of March and April?

Well first, he looked great in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, then he also tested great at the combine and his pro days. He showed he has the speed, quickness, flexibility, agility to transition to the OLB position in the NFL.

McClellin would be the perfect compliment to Matthews on the opposite side at ROLB.

Secondly, his measurables remind many of Matthews in 09, and Brooks Reed last year.
40 Time: 4.62
Vertical: 31.5″
Broad: 9’10
3 Cone:
Short Shuttle: 4.33

Reed, you might remember, is the OLB from Arizona who many Packer fans, and national mocksters, had going to the Packers last year at pick #32.

Reed was on board at the pick, but Thompson went with OT Derek Sherrod instead. While Sherrod looked like a fine prospect, he had his leg broken in two places in the Kansas City loss, when OLB pass rushing specialist Tamba Hali went right around LT Marshall Newhouse for the 18th time in that game, and went smashing into Sherrod’s leg.

McClellin has shown the ability to drop back into coverage, which is something that is needed from the position at times.

While that can’t be blamed on Thompson, obviously, it is worthy to note that Reed had a great rookie year for the Houston Texans, and showed that their defense was just fine thank you without Mario Williams. So good, in fact, that they let Mario go this off-season. Reed would have, perhaps, been a difference-maker for the Packers defense last year.

Passion for the game, intensity, is another attribute that McClellin brings to the table. The Packers defense wouldn't hurt by having more guys with passion like that. Matthews and Bishop have it, but guys like Hawk and Brad Jones appear to be sleepwalking out there at times.

As you know, their defense was awful and getting to the quarterback was the number one problem. Teams focused on stopping Clay Matthews, and with Cullen Jenkins let go, there was nobody else who could get pressure on QB’s.

Not only does Shea have the right size and measurables to thrive in Capers' system, he already has a solid body of work.

McClellin appears to be a perfect fit to pair with Matthews and he has the great character, work ethic, that Ted Thompson looks for.

I don’t think he will be there at pick #28 however, so don’t be shocked to see Teddy Ballgame make another rare move up in the draft and pick a guy who most didn’t even think would be worth a 1st round pick, as was the case in 2009 with Clay.

Stay tuned.

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