The Bears had been projected by most analysts to be leaning toward either Chandler Jones from Syracuse or Whitney Mercilus from Illinois in their quest for more pass rush.
But Shea McClellin was more consistently productive over his career than Mercilus, whose only big season (16 sacks) was last year, and Jones was consistent but did not have more than 4.5 sacks in any of his three seasons.
We felt he was one of the better rushers and obviously that his pass-rush ability was very high, Emery said. And our fit was very good for him.
The Bears were looking for speed and saw fast feet and hands as well as instincts reacting to a developing play, rather than simply flying upfield.
We all scouts, coaches came away looking at him as having a very high level of football instincts, Emery said. He is relentless in his motor.
Offensive linemen like Iowa tackle Reilly Reiff and Stanford guard David DeCastro were available. The Bears were clear that they did not view OL as a need area, however.
Emery had been aware of McClellin while at Kansas City last year when the Chiefs were looking at him potentially as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
At the Senior Bowl McClellin played more linebacker and did not attract attention as a pass rusher, which was to the Bears benefit.