Many experts had Alec Ogletree mocked to go much earlier in the first round, but the apparent devaluation of the non-edge-rushing linebacker took hold on opening night of the 2013 NFL Draft as the Georgia Bulldog fell all the way to the St. Louis Rams at pick No. 30. The Rams had initially sat at picks No. 16 and No. 22 going into Thursday but dealt the two picks in trading up to the Buffalo Bills‘ No. 8 to snag wide receiver Tavon Austin.
St. Louis was widely speculated select safety in the first round but ended up improving another spot on defense. Ogletree carries some character questions with him after having failed multiple drug tests at Georgia and been charged with DUI earlier this year, but his performance on the field solidified him as a first-round selection heading in.
In an increasingly pass-happy league, Ogletree provides St. Louis a critical element for defending intermediate routes, running backs and tight ends. James Laurenaitis will continue holding down the middle linebacker spot while Ogletree’s range will be an asset outside. While St. Louis didn’t take the safety that was expected by many — like perhaps Matt Elam who went two picks later — Ogletree interestingly enough gives them a backer with safety-like legs, as he was recruited to play the position out of high school.
The 6-3, 242-pound linebacker turned out to be the only linebacker selected in the entire first round, and his 4.7-second 40-yard dash probably played some role in that.
For more information on Alec Ogletree check out his 2013 NFL Draft Profile here!