2012 Dallas Cowboys Draft Prospects: OLB

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In my previous article “Should The Dallas Cowboys Trade Anthony Spencer?” I offered the trade Spencer and draft his replacement scenario. Obviously everyone knows about Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram and Andre Branch. Every year, the media has their top guys. I previously wrote about one of my favorites, being Vinny Curry in an article I titled “2012 Dallas Cowboys Draft Prospects DL: Coples vs. Curry”. In this article, I want to touch on some of the “Guys No One Is Talking About” at outside linebacker.

Shea McClellin, OLB/DE Boise State

November 19, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Boise State Broncos defensive defensive lineman Shea McClellin (92) reacts after a stop during the first half against San Diego State Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

6-3 260 4.62 40

McClellin’s stock has been climbing fast. In fact, (after visits with multiple NFL teams) he has risen about 18 spots in the rankings. He went from being projected in the 5th to 6th round to anywhere between the late 1st and early 3rd round. Rob Rang at CBS has him going to the Cowboys in the 2nd round at 45th overall. I can’t say I would complain one bit. If you know anything about BSU you know they have an excellent coaching staff that produces well disciplined, fast, athletic, high motor football players. It was a thing of beauty watching them dominate the much larger Va Tech offense. In my opinion, this guy could very well be the JJ Watt of the 2012 NFL Draft.

McClellin is a strong player inside for the Broncos who uses good leverage to get under heavier offensive linemen and jolt them back in their stance. He is aggressive in his slants to get inside and create disruption in the backfield. He is stout despite playing underweight, and can hold off linemen and smother tight ends at the point of attack. He has no problem tackling and is a good pass rusher; he employs a quick-trigger off the line and uses his hands to swat and then dip around unassuming tackles. He is good to keep hands off his body, a solid defensive tactic for a player his size. Once in the backfield, he finishes plays with flare and can run down most quarterbacks. (NFL.com)

McClellin was known as Mr. Versatility at BSU. He saw game time at defensive end, outside linebacker, some inside linebacker and even an occasional stint in the Nickel package. In college, he tried to fashion himself after New England Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel.

“That type of guy just because of his versatility and what he did,” McClellin said. “I think just the way he moved and the way he did everything was kind of old school and that’s how I like to do it. I would say it’s the same mindset as if I was in a 4-3. I’ll attack the edge and get after the quarterback any way I can.”

Plays fast with very good football quickness and agile footwork. A high effort and energy rusher who plays with obvious passion and intensity — relentless and tenacious motor. Fast in pursuit with good chase skills to track down the action. Good get-off momentum and anticipation — instinctive defender who locates the ball quickly. Extremely active and plays with an aggressive playing nature and attitude — self-starter and strong finisher. Country strong and very physical, welcoming contact. Fights and works hard to find a way to beat blockers — disruptive with a nose for the ball. Versatile defensive player with experience at LB, DE and other hybrid front-seven positions. A creative pass rusher, using a variety of moves and techniques to create pressure. Tough and durable with a productive collegiate resume (33.0 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks), starting the final 37 games of his career in Boise.–(Dane Brugler)

NFL Comparison: Eric Norwood, Carolina Panthers

My story is continued on the next page…..

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