Some point to the blue turf. Some point to the game management skills of Kellen Moore. But many realize that Boise has been churning out talent in the past few years, and Shea McClellin is the latest elite talent to come out of Chris Petersen’s system. Titus Young and Ryan Clady came before him, but McClellin could turn out to be the best of the bunch.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound beast is quickly rising up draft boards, and it is easy to understand why. He can play with his hand in the dirt on the end, stand up on either side as an outside backer and even moved inside on some schemes.
He has been under the radar since his prep days. Just a two-star coming out of Marsing, Idaho, not exactly a hotbed of football talent. Redshirting as a frosh and backing up in his second year on campus, McClellin was patient in waiting for his chance to shine. He started as an end/outside backer for the past three years, and racked up 20.5 sacks during his career.
So what has caused his name to creep up the boards? Well the question should really be why he wasn’t being considered a first-round talent all along. He has solid 4.6 time, and while he does not push the bar with the heavyweights, watching his tape makes you realize that he comes to play every down.
He is being talked about as a possible late first-round pick, with the Patriots and Packers seeming like perfect fits for the versatile beast. But with the way draft buzz goes; do not be shocked if he creeps into the late teens. The Chargers could certainly use some help off the edge, and who better to learn under than recently signed Jarrett Johnson?
McClellin has great hands and can shed blockers to get into the backfield. He spent five years learning an excellent system in Boise, and should have no problem stepping into a pro camp on day one. He played a lot of zone when he was dropping back, but his speed and instincts suggests that he would have no problem covering an athletic tight-end down the seam.
He is the first Bronco to get an invite to the draft in the Big Apple, which is an excellent indication that scouts around the league have been hot on his tail for some time now and it is just a matter of the trickle down that the rest of us are finally learning his name.
Growing up on the family farm in Marsing, Idaho has made him into the hard worker that he is today. It took some convincing, but his grandparents finally understood that he would not be able to help put up a new fence on the property during the pre-draft process. A town of just 1,000 with a sign proclaiming itself as his hometown, he comes from humble roots that will surely help him down the road.
There is little risk that he will get caught up in off the field issues, as most of his off time is spent milking goats and taking care of at-risk animals. What doesn’t this guy do? In a day and age when the news of an athletes arrest is regular occurrence, it is nice for a front office to know that there will likely be no such run-ins for the small-town McClellin.
He played mostly with his hand down at Boise State, but he showed at his Pro Day that he can work well in coverage and should have no problem adapting to the pro game. It seems as if there is no part of the game that he does not excel, whether on the field or off. Do not be surprised when his name is called much earlier than anyone expected just a few months ago.