The Bears wanted to draft a situational pass rusher in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. They wanted to find a rookie to come in and have a major impact as an edge rusher. Boise State linebacker Shea McClellin was the player the Bears drafted at 19th overall, a decent athlete who was extremely raw as a pass rusher.
The rookie defensive end's selection was criticized from the get to, and now 10 games into his career he has done nothing to allay the fears of his critics. As a rookie McClellin has failed to make the impact that was expected of him. To this point he has totaled 3 sacks and 7 QB hits on the season though most of his sacks have come in the one half variety.
McClellin's impact has been minimal at a critical position for the 19th overall spot in the draft. Any first round rookie should have a higher impact as a DE than he has, and at the least should be competing for a starting DE spot. That was the expectation that the rookie would eventually supplant Israel Idonije on the edge as the start opposite Julius Peppers.
Instead third year defensive end Corey Wootton has emerged as the most consistent player at the defensive end spot and has been the one to push Idonije down the depth chart. Wootton has tallied 4.5 snaps and 7 QB hits in less action.
Thus far what we have seen from McClellin is the same we saw coming from him out of college. He's not explosive, but he's fast, he's a one-dimensional rusher. He is almost outright predictable in his rush move, a hard rush outside with a spin move back to the inside. He has no other counter move with his short arms and he's not very strong. He doesn't have much in the way of technique and is a raw athlete who looks short even though he's in the 6-foot-3 range.
I don't see a very high ceiling for Shea McClellin and suffering his fourth concussion of his football career is of greater concern.
No you can't write him off as a bust, but you can legitimately question the scouting ability and the decision to draft a player that fits nowhere in the Bears 4-3 defensive scheme. Were it not for Wootton's emergence the miss factor would be magnified that much more. McClellin instead will take a few years to develop and may not reach the potential of being worthy of a first round selection.