Mike Mayock loves Shea McClellin.
The NFL Network's draft specialist said on a conference call that any team looking for a 3-4 outside linebacker at the end of the first round needs to take a long look at the Boise State product.
Answering a question from a Houston beat reporter about McClellin's value there, Mayock said, "If Shea McClellin from Boise is there, I would value him a lot. He's a guy that's risen a lot but I see Mike Vrabel when I look at Shea McClellin. He's going to fit somebody's 3-4 defense at the tail end of the first round, and I think he's going to be a 10-year starter; and I think he fits in perfectly who you have there now."
At 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, McClellin is a tad shorter than Vrabel but he's still got plenty of explosiveness. He ran a 4.62 40, has a 31.5-inch vertical and broad jumped almost 10 feet. He had 20 sacks for Boise as a three-year starter and 23 tackles for loss in the past two seasons.
Mayock sees competition for his services between the 3-4 teams.
"The Chargers are kind of at the beginning of what I look at as the 3-4 teams that need defensive help, and there are a bunch; San Diego and New England and Baltimore, Green Bay and there will be a premium on the outside end rush guys, and you have the first shot at whoever those guys are in the second half of the first round.
"So from my perspective, I bang the table for Shea McClellan and again a lot of people have thought he's a second or third round pick. He's going to go in the first round to a 3-4 team and he's going to be a very good football player."
The Patriots, with picks at 27 and 31, are a reasonable bet to have McClellin on their radar. Whether he's there when their turn comes remains to be seen.