We all know that Shea McClellin was the first draft pick that Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery selected, but Emery is letting his pride cloud his judgment with the McClellin situation.
Emery has done a fantastic job of acquiring talent through free agency, and last year’s draft class looks to be very promising as well. It is understandable that Emery took McClellin in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, because he did not have a proper amount of time to prepare and study with his Bears’ scouting department. No general manager ever drafts perfectly year after year, it is impossible. But pulling the plug on prospects that don’t quite pan out the way they hoped is possible and necessary.
At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Emery came out and publicly supported McClellin and praised his athleticism and skills. This came on the heels of head coach Marc Trestman confirming that McClellin will make the shift from defensive end to strong-side linebacker. Trestman has not publicly supported McClellin nearly as much as Emery has, and it’s because McClellin is Emery’s guy.
Every successful NFL executive is confident, that is one of the reasons why they have risen to the top. It’s a valuable trait, but Emery is letting his bravado and hope for his first pick as Bears GM cloud his judgment. Perhaps an even more valuable trait is admitting when wrong and cutting ties as soon as possible with underwhelming players. The right move would be to shop McClellin around to the NFL teams running 3-4 defenses and get the most value in a trade as possible.