Eagles Should Consider Trading For Shea McClellin | Eagles Addict
Shea McClellin

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The Eagles could use another Outside Linebacker, Shea McClellin is a man without a position in Chicago and Howie Roseman loves to make deals.  Seems like ripe conditions for an Eagles-Bears trade that could make sense for both sides.

First, let’s be clear…this is purely speculation on my part.  There are no reports or rumors on this subject.  The idea was initially introduced to me after reading an article by Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz back in March.

Of course, Lawlor thought about the idea prior to free agency and the draft and it included the thought of dealing Brandon Graham for him.

Since then, the Bears have added two free agent defensive ends in Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston so they don’t particularly have a need for Graham, but he could be good for depth/rotational purposes.

However, that doesn’t negate the fact that McClellin’s status is still up in the air.

The Bears drafted McClellin in the first round in 2012.  He was projected by virtually all draft scouts as an Outside Linebacker in a 3-4 defense so it was a surprise when he was taken by Chicago.

After spending two seasons miscast as a Defensive End in Chicago, the word “bust” has been thrown around a little bit.  The stats show that in two seasons, he has 44 tackles and 6.5 sacks with no forced fumbles, batted passes or anything else.

Pro Football Focus had him ranked 51st out of 52 4-3 DEs that played at least 25% of their teams’ snaps in 2013.

His struggles at playing this position is what has led the Bears to move him to Linebacker for the upcoming season.

However, he is far from guaranteed a starting position.

He is slated to compete with Jon Bostic and D.J. Williams for one of two LB spots (Briggs has the other).  Michael C. Wright, ESPN’s Bears reporter, doesn’t think McClellin will beat either of them out and will end up being relegated to a sub-package pass-rush role.

In addition, what could further muddy the waters for McClellin is if UDFA signing Christian Jones makes a good impression.  Jones, whom many Eagles fans wanted the team to draft, had a third-round grade on him before news of a failed drug test dropped his stock.

Failed drug test and UDFA status aside, Jones certainly has the on-field talent to earn a roster spot and potentially work his way into a starting role sooner or later.

The Eagles tried trading for Dion Jordan earlier this offseason because of similar circumstances to McClellin’s.  Jordan is thought to be miscast as a DE and should be an OLB in a 3-4.  That’s what everyone thought about McClellin two years ago.

Apparently the Houston Texans tried to trade for McClellin last year, according to Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune.  Obviously it didn’t happen and it wasn’t noted what the offer was, but it does show that a team with a 3-4 defense feels he’d be a good fit for them.

Hell, with all of the former Houston players on the Eagles, if McClellin was wanted by them that’s all the proof we need that he’d be a player the Eagles would like (kidding, sort of)!

Would he be a fit for the Eagles at OLB?  If we go by his 2012 scouting reports, I’d say yes, absolutely.

Here’s a 2012 scouting report on him from WalterFootball.com:

Summary: McClellin has been one of the draft prospects who has seen a late surge in their stock as teams get in the final days of setting their draft board. In the past few weeks, McClellin’s stock has been on fire to the point where he is getting discussed in the middle of the first round. The reason for McClellin’s surge has been versatility. He can fit a 3-4 defense as an outside or inside linebacker who will contribute as a run defender while being a dangerous pass rusher.

McClellin recorded 50 tackles, seven sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble and a blocked kick in 2011. Aside from playing as a traditional defensive end, he lined up for the Broncos as both a stand-up rush linebacker and an inside linebacker. He could have had a bigger sack total if Boise State had let him rush the passer on every opportunity, but he dropped into pass coverage regularly. In his first game of the season, he vastly outplayed Georgia tackle/guard Cordy Glenn all night. McClellin’s speed off the edge was too much for Glenn to handle.

McClellin projects as an ideal 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. He has the athletic ability to drop into coverage and play space. He is a fabulous edge rusher who will give offenses fits with how to slow him down coming around the corner. He also has the ability to play some inside linebacker to stuff runs and rush up the middle. McClellin’s instincts are phenomenal, and they allow him to create splash plays. He could turn into a special perimeter linebacker who will impact game plans.

Sounds like versatility was McClellin’s middle name at Boise State.

Plus, at 6′ 3″ 255 lbs with 4.6 speed, long arms, large hands and seemingly meets all the Chip Kelly character prerequisites, I’d say he would have been under strong consideration from the current regime.

Lawlor also noted that the Eagles “quietly had a lot of interest” in McClellin in 2012.  Quiet interest would describe how things were in the previous regime with Andy Reid.  Unlike the current regime, there would often never be any pre-draft interest shown in many prospects the team was targeting.

The question of the supposed interest in him at that point is whether or not it was that Howie Roseman liked him, or if it was more of Jim Washburn thing due to his Wide-9 scheme (of which McClellin was thought to be a fit for as well).

According to Jeff Lurie, if you recall, 2012 was supposedly the first draft where Roseman was fully responsible.  If there was interest in McClellin, Roseman was likely on board with that.

At this point, there is nothing to indicate the Eagles have any interest in him now nor is there anything that points to McClellin being available in a trade.  But, if you consider the circumstances surrounding McClellin, Graham and the Eagles’ needs, it would at least make sense for the teams to discuss it.

Teams are always talking to each other about players so it’s certainly possibly this subject has come up.

I wouldn’t give up much for McClellin in a trade, definitely not a draft pick in the first three rounds.  Either Brandon Graham straight up or, at most, Graham and a fourth round pick (preferably a later pick, but I could live with this).

Or, pehaps Graham and the conditional pick from the Bryce Brown trade.

With Trent Cole all but gone after 2014 and only having an unknown in rookie Marcus Smith to replace him, the depth at OLB is extremely thin.  It would be nice to still add another player with the skill set that projects better as a 3-4 ‘backer rather than having a square peg trying to fit in a round hole (Graham).

McClellin could still end up being a bust, but I think he’s worth a shot.  He’s still just 24 years old, which is the same age as Dion Jordan, so there’s still plenty of time for him to develop.  Perhaps his best chance to do just that would be to play in a scheme better suited for his skills.

I realize this whole thing is a shot in the dark, but hey, we’re now in the doledrums of the offseason.  Might as well try and spur some discussion.

How would you feel about trading for McClellin as somewhat of a consolation prize for not being able to swing that deal for Jordan?


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14 Responses to Eagles Should Consider Trading For Shea McClellin

  1. tval says:

    I agree he or jones would be nice additions. I was very surprised c jones allegedly failed a drug test..he was always responsible and reliable at fsu and in no way do I believe 1 positive marijuana test (after college graduation) in 5 years warrants a guy being taken off your board. meanwhile, bradley roby passes out drunk, driving his car, and is a sure-fire 1st rounder? Huge double standard there..I believe thats sure to change once the nfl relaxes its ridiculous, financially motivated, policies

    • Are you talking about a different failed test than the one at the Combine? The only thing I saw about the combine test was that his urine sample came back “diluted”, which constitutes a failed test. Diluted tests are mainly urine samples that contain an inordinate amount of water, with the reason being as to try and mask a drug. But, tests that are failed with a diluted status should be retested.

      Jones will almost definitely make their team. And if he impresses well enough, it could be enough for Chicago to feel ok about trading Shea.

      • tval says:

        Thats what I thought as well, a dilluted sample along with jernigan..tim gave good reason and requested an explanation and could never hear back from the league, meanwhile his draft stock plummets…I think they should be better represented, even if they arent on a team, yet…

  2. Buddyball46 says:

    Great Article. The defense improved a lot the second half of the year and so did Trent Cole. I like the Eagles LB’s and think they are very solid. I am disappointed that they do not Graham more rotational snaps from Trent. I think Trent has a chance to be a pro-bowler this year but we need to keep him fresh and Graham has been effective when he has played. I am not an expert but I do not see why he could not play well in a goal line package as a ILB. He can bull rush and blow up blocks and likes to do so. I would substitute him for Kendricks in this package. I do not why the coaches do not try to get Graham in the game more especially given how many snaps the starters played.

    Anyone think Barwin could play some snaps at ILB and have Trent and Graham on the field at the same time? I like Barwin a lot and he is a player that I do not think should come off the field. Smith is suppose to be versatile too so maybe if he develops quickly he could give Barwin a breather. In the end i am thinking the Eagles will disappoint me and probably end giving less snaps to Graham and give the Cole back up snaps to Smith.

    I also would like to see Curry get more snaps. I am happy the team did not resign Geathers. I know he not a natural 3-4 end but he is a very disruptive player and seems to cause negative yardage plays for the offense. We have a lot depth on the DL this year so it will be exciting. I like the Allen pick and am hoping he could become a Tony Siragusa.

    I like our front 7 players going into the Season. Go EAGLES!

    • tval says:

      I like that barwin in middle, put your best players on the field, mentality..if we have smith able to contribute somewhat early, why not? I love curry as well, I think he could blow up this year..im just not in love with logan at starting nose

    • Eric says:

      Brandon graham is very bad as an olb… At 6’1″ or m

    • I like the idea of keeping your best players on the field at all times, but Barwin has never taken a snap at ILB and never came off the field last year anyway. I think they’ll give Smith backup reps to both Barwin and Cole and see which role he seems better suited for. Or since they like versatile players, maybe they envision Smith lining up on either side at any given time.

      I’m with you on getting Curry more snaps but he has new competition in Hart. Given the numbers situation at DL, Curry could be the odd man out.

  3. David s says:

    This could be a late training camp trade. July or so. I think a lot of this depends on if the Jordan trade is really dead or if the dolphins are waiting until June to get the dead money from his contract off the books. Also depends on Travis long’s development.

    • True, June could be an active time for additional moves. While I’d absolutely LOVE to get Jordan, I just can’t see it happening only because they just drafted him 3rd overall last year.

  4. Eric says:

    At 6’1 and a de by trade he has no measurable a for an olb and the eagles clearly do not trust him on field. Bra win and graham are olbs and would be a disservice at ilb… Especially in place of Kendrick is a blitzing stud… Get shea and let him learn from bars in who has a giant contract that the eagles prolly don’t want in 2 years

  5. Eric says:

    *barwin… Damn autocorrect

  6. tval says:

    I love kendricks too..just sayn, he, barwin, smith and demeco on field same time seems like one of our best lb groups regardless of position, in a long time, especially passing downs..I think curry could develop into a starter now hes adjusted to nfl and bigger..he showed best improvement when he played, to me..I dont see hart challenging him whatsoever, just me..

    • Actually, I take that comment about Curry back. Curry will most likely make the team and his main competition for a roster spot will be Joe Kruger, not Hart.


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