Boise State's McClellin modeled game after Vrabel

Boise State's McClellin modeled game after Vrabel
April 5, 2012, 6:00 pm
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Seems you can't take two digital steps these days without running into a mock NFL draft. Hear the name Shea McClellin lately? Probably. A few analysts have the former Boise State Bronco slotted for New England's 27th overall pick.

Why? For starters, the 6-3, 260-pound DELB has been called "Mike Vrabel 2.0." And it's no accident; McClellin modeled his college game after the former Patriot.

"I think just the way Vrabel moved and the way he did everything was kind of old school and that's how I like to do it," he told The Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. "I would say it's the same mindset as if I was in a 4-3. I'll attack the edge and get after the quarterback any way I can."

In four seasons at Boise State McClellin played snaps at defensive end, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and even nickel. He had 50 tackles (12.5 for loss), seven sacks, and two interceptions in 2011 -- the year he played most regularly at linebacker during his career.

He was a proven explosive player in college and only improved his stock at the NFL Combine. McClellin ran a 4.63 40-yard dash, second fastest time among 51 defensive linemen. At Boise State's Pro Day, which the Patriots attended, he impressed with fluid movement in linebacker drills.

There's even more to like -- McClellin is grounded.

Like Vrabel, he's described as blue-collar. McClellin has a work ethic hardened by being raised on an Idaho farm; when he could break from football he milked goats, nursed baby skunks for return to the wild, and raised ducks.

He didn't ask questions. He didn't complain.

A perfect Patriot in the making?

The Packers have reportedly shown "significant interest" in McClellin since January's Senior Bowl. But New England needs a pass rusher and this kid knows how to bother a quarterback.

How convenient, the team currently sits one pick above Green Bay.