Chicago Bears 2012 NFL Draft Review

Shea McClellin

A pass rusher opposite Julius Peppers was the Bears’ number one priority heading into the draft. Chicago fans were rewarded with Shea McClellin who played both defensive end and linebacker at Boise State. He was projected by most teams to play in a 3-4 scheme because of his size and arm length. The high motor, fast twitch, disruptive athlete promises to be all he can be – a good football player who is instinctive, plays with leverage, and finishes what he starts. The Bears continued their upgrade of wide receivers with Alshon Jeffery, a big and productive receiver who will take the heat off Brandon Marshall. An injection of youth in the secondary and on special teams was headed up by Brandon Hardin, Isaiah Frey, and Greg McCoy. Shea McClellin was drafted to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The key to the Tampa-2 defense is pressure from the front four so the back end can play coverage with seven defenders. If McClellin can hold his ground and stop the run, he will have every chance to beat out Israel Idonije. McClellin is a disruptive player who always keeps moving. He has good range, speed, and lateral quickness. Alshon Jeffery has a chance to become an impact player for the Bears if he keeps his weight down and his playmaking ability on a high level. The three year starter played his junior year with some very inconsistent quarterback play. To his credit, he didn’t suck his thumb but rather played in a very mature manner. He can align as an X, Z, or slot receiver and will be counted on to balance the coverage on Brandon Marshall. Brandon Hardin missed the 2011 season due to a shoulder surgery during preseason. He’s a big man who can turn and run. Athletic and physical in his play, he played the boundary corner in 2010 which makes an easy transition to strong safety. Hardin was a standout Pac-12 special teams’ player as a gunner on the punt team. Evan Rodriguez is an athletic H-back, multi-purpose sub package contributor with good hands. He had some off field red flags that were cleared up to the satisfaction of the Bears’ brass. He needs more functional strength and will need to contribute on special teams to make the roster. Currently he is backing up Tyler Clutts. Isaiah Frey led the nation with 21 pass breakups as a senior. He also picked off five passes. An athletic corner, he has good foot quickness. He is a size and speed prospect. Greg McCoy was sixth in the country as a kickoff return specialist for the Horned Frogs. He averaged 30.6 yards per return and will need to make his mark on special teams for the Bears. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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