In the 2013 NFL Draft the (then) St. Louis Rams had two first round selections at their disposal. With the eighth pick of the first round they obtained from the Bills they selected 5’8″ blazing WR Tavon Austin and the fan base was pretty darn excited to add the game breaking speed merchant to pair with burgeoning QB Sam Bradford.
With their second selection of the first round and 30th of the draft the team tabbed 6’2″ 242 lb Georgia Bulldog linebacker Alec Ogletree. In retrospect the picks should have been reversed.
The former safety was an uber-athletic player with speed, strength, length and instinct. The club plugged him in at OLB next to All Pro MLB James Laurinaitis and didn’t look back. The team hit a home run with the pick.
So how can a player who was already broke out be tabbed to do it again? With the team releasing former team leader Laurinaitis and Ogletree coming back from an injury that kept him out almost the entire 2015 campaign the new Rams MLB fits the bill. And from all reports coming out of training camp in Irvine he has taken to this new position like a fish to water, or a Ram to a mountain ridge if you will.
Ogletree and fellow new-position player and fellow former safety Mark Barron form a dynamic LB tandem that allows the team to play tough against the run, blitz effectively and also have the skill set to cover athletic, receiving tight ends. In today’s NFL and in a division that has receiving threat TE Jimmy Graham that’s critical.
With an incredible defensive line in front of him Ogletree is able to freely flow to the ball without getting tangled up with interior offensive linemen. This allows him to use his instincts to get to the ball carrier or QB with great urgency and once he gets there he knows what to do and enjoys doing it.
The Rams went through a rough 2015 campaign with brutal QB play and critical injuries to the defense. That was then, this is now and if your team’s 2016 schedule has the Los Angles Rams on it your defensive coordinator better have a plan for how to attack MLB Alec Ogletree. Because Ogletree will most assuredly have a plan for attacking them. And the burgeoning MLB mutant’s plan will work.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over