Scouting Report: Each draft there is a linebacker who sets the bar for the rest of the class. McClain is that guy this year, like Aaron Curry was last year, and Patrick Willis before that. Sort of like Joe Haden, McClain is very clearly the best linebacker in this draft. McClain is a big thick dude, with a powerful lower body and low body fat. He has an explosion when he plays, and an intensity that is unrivaled in this class. There are few flaws to McClains skill set. He is great at diagnosing the play, getting to it in a hurry whether that means shedding a blocker, working around one, or simply in pursuit. When he gets to the ball, he usually brings the pain with a devastating paired up with great technique. He can drop and cover in the short zone, shows solid instincts for the game, and does very well on blitzes and twists. McClain has been the undisputed leader of the Crimson Tide defense and their defense is very complex highlighting his football IQ. On the downside, McClain is a Mike linebacker and probably not able to play on the outside citing some lack of versatility. Also, when you consider that McClain is about 3 biscuits shy of 260lbs, you won't see him setting any records on his triangle numbers.
Draft Status: This is a little uncertain, because some think that Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon or Florida LB Brandon Spikes are better linebackers than McClain, and because they either already to play on the outside, or look to be able to, will be taken ahead of him, and push him to the bottom of the round. I have a hard time believing that. McClain could have a huge impact on a defense, especially a team that runs the 3-4 and you can pair him up with another Mike and let him blitz and run and make plays. If he can continue to play like he has, and have a good offseason showing I see no reason he should be drafted anywhere outside the first 20 picks.
Final Analysis: I love McClain's game. I love the fact that he always knows what to do at the right time, and is almost never caught out of position. I love he's big and strong enough to hold the point of attack even against offensive linemen, and that he can deliver a blow like no other player in the draft. He's a throwback kind of guy. Not flashy, and not all about the triangle numbers. Just an incredibly talented and productive linebacker.
Reminds me of: Ray Lewis, LB Baltimore Ravens-McClain has the look of a super star, like Lewis does and is an explosive powerful and smart playmaker, just like Lewis. Also, he may end up slipping in the first round like Lewis did, but for different reasons.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy