Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
After being taken in the first round in 2012, Shea McClellin had his fair share of struggles at the defensive end position.
In an attempt to revitalize his career and to put him in the right position to succeed, the team decided to move him to linebacker this offseason, a position he is more comfortable playing.
In order to become an effective linebacker, McClellin worked to get leaner this offseason. That was evident in this tweet from his trainer, Scot Prohaska:
McClellin told the media after practice, via John Mullin of CSN Chicago, that he assumed he was going to make the switch to linebacker earlier this season, saying:
I was excited for sure, anticipated that they would, too. My first two years weren’t the greatest but I think linebacker is a natural fit for me. I think it’s what I should be doing and I’m very excited about it.
In his piece for ESPNChicago.com, Michael C. Wright wrote that both he and the coaches were impressed by what they saw:
We finally caught a glimpse of Shea McClellin playing linebacker, and he didn't look bad at all. In fact he looked pretty natural scraping against the run and dropping back into coverage on passes. McClellin drew plenty of compliments from the coaching staff during Tuesday's practice.
The majority of McClellin's production at Boise State came when he was playing linebacker, and he should benefit from having a chance to play a position he is more comfortable with.
According to Jeff Arnold of ChicagoFootball.com, McClellin has seen time at both the strong-side and middle linebacker positions early on in OTAs.
His best chance at starting will likely be at the strong-side linebacker position, but if he is able to show off the athleticism that led to him being a first-round pick, he may give veteran D.J. Williams a run at the middle linebacker spot.