The Bears could have drafted almost any position outside of quarterback or running back in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft and no one would have questioned the decision.
Which particular player they selected would be the subject of greater debate.
The Bears elected to shore up their pass rush by selecting defensive end Shea McClellin out of Boise State with the 19th pick in the first round. McClellin was seen by many to fit either as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or an outside linebacker in a 3-4.
McClellin is considered a high-motor guy who will always find himself around the football. He had 20.5 career sacks at Boise State and his personality should endear himself to Bears fans who enjoy passion and effort from their team’s players.
Still, the move does not come without scrutiny, especially with more prominent players still available on the board. Did the Bears reach for McClellin? Could they have traded down and still drafted him while collecting some extra picks? Is McClellin a man without a position in the NFL?
These are all questions Bears fans and the Chicago media will be asking until McClellin suits up and they see what he can do.
While I’m skeptical at this point that he was the absolute right player, I know he’ll bring the effort every Sunday and be in the right position to make plays. And at this point, I’m still willing to give new Bears general manager Phil Emery the benefit of the doubt.