While the St. Louis Rams upgraded strongly on offense in the draft, they also upgraded on defense. While their first pick of the first round was used on Tavon Austin, their second pick of the first round they used to draft Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree. Olgletree is a fairly skilled linebacker, posting a 4.70 40 yard dash, and performed 20 max bench press reps at the 2013 NFL Combine.
Ogletree accumulated 197 tackles during his three years on the Bulldogs’ football team, with six sacks, one interception, and three forced fumbles. His 2011 season was marred by a broken foot and caused him to miss six games. Originally, in 2010, Ogletree wasn’t used on the starting defense, being regulated mainly to special teams, but also played at strong safety for most of the season. He eventually moved to linebacker, and has been there ever since.
The Rams defense, despite their below average statistical rankings, are full of young, skilled play-makers, especially linebacker James Laurinaitis, and the front line consisting of Chris Long, Robert Quinn, and Michael Brockers, the Rams’ first pick in 2012. Ogletree’s presence will be key in the Rams’ defense as he is quick off the ball, and can rush the quarterback and create pressure. His experience as a safety will also be key if he drops back into a zone to watch the pass.
Ogletree has had some off-field issues, including a one game suspension back in 2010, however, coach Jeff Fisher has shown no tolerance towards off-field issues, and that was a big benefactor for the Rams last year, and will continue to be so. Alec Ogletree at only 21 years old, will be a strong addition to the Rams already intimidating defense.
As injuries begin to mount on the 49ers and Seahawks, the Rams are building up for the future, and further proves that this year’s NFC West race will be one for the ages (Photo by Huy Mach/St. Louis Post-Dispatch).