Bears

Was McClellin first-round worthy?

747000.png

Was McClellin first-round worthy?

The word general managerPhil Emery repeatedly used to describe the Bears' first-round pick Shea McClellin was versatility.It's clear they believe that McClellin can provide them with some things they've been lacking and his skills could protect them should a player like Brian urlacher become injured during the course of the season.

McClellin was not one of the many players linked to the Bears, but that truly means nothing since most of the so-called experts are simply making guesses.

There seems to be some frustration amongst fans because of bogus reports they had read through various outlets that claimed McClellin was a third or fifth round value. Those reports are completely inaccurate and can be disproved by the fact the Boise State defensive end was invited to New York for the draft. The only players that get invitations are those that multiple teams have told the league office they view as first-rounders. So the Bears were among at least a handful of teams that saw the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder as a top player in the draft.

McClellin is also like every other player that was drafted or will get drafted. They are all unknowns. Every year there are players that nobody thinks will find success and then become great players and others that everyone believed in and then never live up to expectations.

The Bears filled a position that was a definite need which was the righ thing to do. The pick also allows them to go in almost any direction for the rest of the draft. It's very possible and almost likely there will be some highly rated offensive lineman and receivers still on the board when they pick in the second round.

And remember just because Shea McClellin was not a house hold name doesnt mean he can't be a good player. How many people remember the college careers of Justin Tuck or Robert Mathis? Players will decide how good they are in the NFL when they step on the field.

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents. 

That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?

The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room). 

So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure. 

Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return. 

“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”

If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length. 

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?

10-22johnfox.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?

Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report/”Big Ten Unfiltered” podcast), Chris Emma (670TheScore.com) and Matt Zahn (CBS 2) join Kap on the panel. If the Bears lose badly to the Lions, should Sunday be John Fox’s last game? 

Plus Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill joins the panel to talk Bulls as well as the Niko/Portis cold war.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: