McClellin fits the physical mold of a Bill Belichick edge player – measuring a shade under 6-4, at 260 pounds and running a 4.6 40. As we've learned in recent years, guys filling out those prerequisites are pretty hard to find.
McClellin had a versatile, productive career at Boise State, where he was used on the edge and at times as a stand-up inside linebacker. He has a reputation as an almost hyperactive, high-motor guy who's a tough farm-boy type.
On recent conference call, ESPN analyst Todd McShay had this to say about McClellin and his chances of sliding into the bottom of the first round of next week's NFL Draft:
"You know, I think it's realistic that he could. I initially watched him in January and liked him but hadn't finished his evaluation and went back about a month and a half ago when we were kind of going through and watched three more games on him, especially later, two of the three were in the second half of the season, and I think one of them was the Bowl game against Arizona State.
But anyway, he's just so versatile, first of all. You watch a game and you're going to see him at defensive end, outside linebacker, then he's standing up playing inside linebacker. I think as the season progressed, at least from what I could tell, he kind of got more natural in that versatile role doing different things, and to me, I like his motor, I like his toughness, and I think that he really has potential to be an impact pass rusher. That to me, when I start to look at some of these other guys on the defensive end, outside linebacker class like Andre Branch and Whitney Mercilus and Nick Perry, it won't shock me when it's all said and done if McClellin ends up being a better pass rusher than a lot of those guys who have got a lot more height. I think it's a tribute to, first of all, he plays with leverage, he can bend the edge, and by that I mean he doesn't lose a lot of ground when he's turning the corner. He has good torso flexibility. He's strong when turning the corner, and there's just not a lot of wasted steps.
"You add in the fact that he's 6'3", 260, runs a 4.63 in the 40 and has good production for a guy that's not always coming off the edge, 16 and a half sacks the last two years, I can see why he's "moving up" or there's a perception that he's starting to move up. We've had kind of an early second-round grade on him for a while. I would think it would be a good pick if some team in the last five, six picks decides to take him and thinks he can be an impact rusher and can play a versatile role, probably in a 3-4 defense in the NFL."
Would you like to see the Patriots select McClellin at either 27 or 31? Let us know with a comment below!