From CBS Sportsline:
Consensus All-American and 2009 Butkus winner Rolando McClain has the combination of size and great instincts to be an impact defender in the NFL.
McClain won a starting job as a true freshman and grabbed freshman all-conference accolades with 75 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss. McClain earned first-team All-SEC honors, posting a team-leading 95 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore. He was even better in 2009, registering career highs in tackles (105), tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (four) in earning consensus All-American honors, being only the second Tide defender to ever win the Butkus Award (the late Derrick Thomas being the other), leading Alabama to the national title.
McClain’s accomplishments don’t override concerns some evaluators have about his transition from Nick Saban’s highly aggressive 3-4 scheme to the NFL. McClain was protected in the Alabama scheme by 365-pound nose guard Terrance Cody, who tied up blockers up front. McClain’s instincts mask his lack of elite speed and there are concerns about how he’ll be able to hold up in coverage.
The other side of the argument is what McClain brings as a downhill thumper in the running game. His status as a possible first-round pick and potential immediate difference-maker in the NFL should be safe.