If there's a sense that Shea McClellin is getting piled on by me writing this blog, then throw another log on the fire.
I don't want to sound overly dramatic because there is plenty of that going around as well.
There's no reason to panic because we're only four practices into camp and there's a long long ways to go.
The best way to evaluate this is to say a lot of what we've seen from Shea McClellin is maybe how you'd evaluate him at the NFL combine or at his Pro Day, seeing him in person.
What I see right now is of major concern to me for the upcoming season. Simply put McClellin's impact in 2012 will likely be minimal at best. I don't envision him as the primary guy in the rotation and certainly don't see him starting ahead of Israel Idonije.
Right now McClellin is WAY OVER HIS HEAD as a base 4-3 end in the Bears defense. His talent right now is limited to his speed and his effort, something that's not going to get you very far in the NFL.
He has one move and it's straight up the field and even that move isn't very explosive.
When you watch McClellin competing and compare him to the other DEs on the field he's essentially running as the sixth best DE on the field.
In a small semblance of what the depth chart looks like right now it would be Corey Wootton as the third DE, Chauncey Davis as the fourth DE, Thadeus Gibson as the fifth DE, and McClellin bringing up the rear.
Gibson has the speed and explosion off the edge that McClellin does not, Wootton has a size, speed and strength combination that McClellin does not and Davis can set the edge against the run like McClellin cannot yet do.
While camp is important for McClellin, the ultimate judge to his season will be how well he plays during the preseason games. McClellin is likely going to play a lot in all four games and he'll have many opportunities to prove himself.
What his role for the 2012 season will likely be determined by how well he plays in these four games.
For McClellin training camp will be all about learning and he's going to have to learn a lot in order to be successful this season.
The Bears need a defensive end to step up and be that pass rusher to compliment Julius Peppers. My guess is that like most rookies, McClellin won't be contributing at the level expected of him this season.
The contribution needed will come from Corey Wootton, especially since he's showing no ill effects from his past injuries.
McClellin's value likely comes in the future once he's coached up and learns the nuances of playing defensive end in the NFL. He'll need to develop solid technique and add some strength to go with the speed he does have.
If McClellin develops his strength and power then he'll be able to get more out of his speed, but developing strengthing and refining technique is going to take time. Time that the Bears may not have during the 2012 season with this team wanting to challenge for a Super Bowl title.