Bears select Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin with 19th pick
BY SEAN JENSEN AND MARK POTASH Twitter: @skjensen / @MarkPotash April 26, 2012 7:08PM
Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin (right) poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected 19th overall by the Chicago Bears in the first round. | Jason DeCrow~AP
Updated: April 27, 2012 8:54AM
Bears general manager Phil Emery passed on in-state prospect Whitney Mercilus and selected Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin with the 19th pick.
The Bears had several options, including highly respected offensive linemen Riley Reiff of Iowa and David DeCastro of Stanford. But McClellin was the choice.
He ran the second-fastest 40-time among defensive ends at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he’s plenty strong. The last two seasons, he had 20½ sacks.
He’ll compete with veteran Israel Idonije for the opportunity to start opposite perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers.
* * * * *
The New York Jets took another shot at improving their defensive line by drafting North Carolina lineman Quinton Coples at No. 16.
The Cincinnati Bengals, who have two first-round picks (Nos. 17 and 21), selected Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick at No. 17.
* * * * *
The Arizona Cardinals spoiled the hopes of some Bears fans by taking Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd at No. 13. That gives the Cardinals a potential big-play complement to All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for quarterback Kevin Kolb, or whoever ends up playing quarterback for the Cardinals.
‘‘I’m so excited. it’s a dream come true,’’ said Floyd, who overcame a third alcohol-related offense last year to become a top-15 pick. ‘‘The difference was the motivation to be in this position. I always wanted it since I was a little kid. That motivated me even more to be a stronger man and a better person.’’
The St. Louis Rams, who originally had the No. 2 pick, drafted LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers at No. 14. Brockers is the sixth SEC player taken in the first 14 picks.
The Seattle Seahawks pulled off the first truly surprise of the first round, taking West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin at No. 15. Few mock drafts, even by the experts, had Irvin going in the first round. ‘‘I don’t think he even expected to be a first-round pick himself,’’ said ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., who called it a ‘‘shocking’’ pick.
Irvin was a second-round pick in most mock drafts and has significant character issues. He’s a high school dropout who was arrested for robbery and spent 2 1/2 weeks in jail, then got his GED, went to junior college and becomes a draftable player at West Virginia.
* * * * *
The Kansas City Chiefs, who lost their director of college scouting in the middle of draft preparation when Phil Emery was hired as the Bears’ general manager, made it five defensive picks out of the last six by taking 6-3, 246-pound nose tackle Dontari Poe of Memphis. Poe is a ‘‘workout warrior’’ who literally and figuratively is one of the draft’s biggest boom-or-bust players, but the Chiefs were working from strength. They were 11th in total defense last season but were tied for 27th in sacks with 29.
The Philadelphia Eagles jumped from No. 15 to No. 12 in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks and selected Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who is considered a good fit for the Eagles’ ‘‘wide-nine’’ defensive alignment, which is vulnerable in the middle of the line.
* * * * *
Miami stayed at No. 8 and took quarterback Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M. Tannehill was considered a wild-card pick in the draft, with some scouts and experts seeing him as a second-rounder and others rating him in the top 10. His draft stock seemed to rise in the last two weeks, and Miami was a likely destination. Mike Sherman, the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator, coached Tannehill at Texas A&M.
The Carolina Panthers, who were 28th in total defense under Ron Rivera in 2011, took Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly at No. 9. Kuechly, a junior, is being compared to the Bears’ Brian Urlacher, who was the ninth pick of the 2000 draft.
The Buffalo Bills, who were 26th in total defense in 2011, also tried to shore up a weakness by taking South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore with the 10th pick.
* * * * *
Trade activity was anticipated because of the volatility in the first round after the first two picks, and it continued when the Jacksonville Jaguars traded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to move from No. 7 to No. 5, leapfrogging the St. Louis Rams to take Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The Rams also are looking for a wide receiver and were expected to take Blackmon.
The activity continued as the Dallas Cowboys, who had the 14th pick, traded with the Rams for the No. 6 pick and chose LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Of the first seven picks, only the Colts at No. 1 have stayed in their original draft position.
* * * * *
The Cleveland Browns, fearing a team was going to jump ahead of them, traded with the Minnesota Vikings to move from No. 4 to No. 3 and took Alabama running back Trent Richardson. It was a deft move by Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, who let it be known the Vikings were willing to trade the pick, which convinced the Browns to make the move.
The Vikings still took the player they wanted — USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil — and added the Browns’ third-, fifth- and seventh round picks.
* * * * *
The Indianapolis Colts as expected selected Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft on Thursday night in New York.
Luck is considered by many the best quarterback prospect in the draft since Peyton Manning in 1998 and even back to Stanford’s John Elway, who was the first pick by the Colts in 1983 but was traded to the Denver Broncos.
‘‘It was great. It was everything I thought it would be,’’ said Luck, who knew he would be the Colts’ choice. ‘‘I feel so blessed to be in this situation. I can’t wait to get started with the Colts.’’
Luck, though, will be joining a team that was 2-14 in 2012 after Manning missed the entire season after neck surgery. And though Manning inherited a 3-13 team, he still had a better foundation with Marshall Faulk, wide receiver Marvin Harrison and offensive tackle Tarik Glenn already on the team. Luck doesn’t have even that much of a supporting cast heading into 2012.
‘‘I hope for the best,’’ Luck said. ‘‘I’ll come hand work hard. I feel so honored and grateful to represent the city and be a part of the team.’’
As expected, the Washington Redskins took Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second pick. The Redskins traded three first-round picks to the St. Louis Rams — this year’s No. 6 pick plus their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 — and a second-round pick to move up to No. 2 spot to get Griffin or Luck.