Phil Emery invested his first-ever draft choice as an NFL general manager in a pass rusher. The question may be: from where?
McClellin has played linebacker and defensive lineman. He has played in a three-point stance opposite a tackle and standing up in a two-point stance, which is how the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots envisioned positioning him in their 3-4 defensive schemes.
The Bears play a 4-3 defense and have no intention of changing what has worked for Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli.
But last season there was criticism, some from inside Halas Hall, that the Bears needed to become less predictable in a scheme that has endured like the West Coast system on offense. It was being exploited too easily by quality quarterbacks who too often knew exactly where everyone was going to be.
McClellins mission statement will be find-quarterback-hit-quarterback. Where he does it from and how he gets there will warrant watching.
At Boise State I was all over the place, McClellin said, noting with just a hint of an edge that his numbers reflected that.
People who look at stats, I didnt have the stats compared to other guys but if you look at my stats, I only averaged 35 snaps a game compared to other guys getting 60-70 and theyre rushing the passer every down.
I was in coverage and other things so its hard to compare.
Hand in the dirt, standing up, I think I can do either.
The Bears do drop their defensive linemen into coverage on occasion and the speed of McClellin projects to allow better disguising of rushes and drops.
His normal starting role at Boise was as a mike middle backer and he would come down and rush in third down or in sub substitution package situations, so theres a lot of versatility to this player, Emery said.
We will start him off at left end because of Pep Julius Peppers but he can play either side. He has the pass rush ability of a right D-end, he has good strength along with his combination of instincts and motor to play the left side.