Character issues have never been a problem with a Jeff Fisher coached football team. The coach has shown a propensity for taking on players with off-field issues just about as frequently as Bill Belichick. The St. Louis Rams showed that lack of fear in last year’s NFL Draft by taking supposed problem child Janoris Jenkins, and all he did was score four defensive touchdowns in his rookie season. While this pick might not provide that exact same impact in 2013, the Rams can expect quite a bit from their new athletic linebacker.
Welcome Alec Ogletree to the Rams! Perhaps the lone soft area on defense for St. Louis a year ago was the linebacker position where the really lacked that consistent third option. James Laurinaitis is obviously the more well-known of the team’s second level defenders, but veteran Jo-Lonn Dunbar joined the team last season and played incredibly well. Adding Ogletree into the mix will provide a player who excels dropping into coverage and has incredible range and quickness.
Go figure that a former safety would be lightning quick out on the field. The Rams will have to harness that quickness and instill some discipline in Ogletree as the one on-field knock on him is that he does tend to over pursue plays at times getting him out of position. Obviously that leads to the other concerns with this kid as an athlete of his caliber is certainly top half of the first round material without the off-field baggage. A DUI arrest prior to the NFL Scouting Combine raised a red flag with many teams, but prior to that he was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season with the University of Georgia for a failed drug test.
Managing to land Ogletree after trading down from the 22nd overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons’ selection at 30 is a huge plus. In the deal, the Rams add a third round pick (92 overall) and a sixth rounder (198 overall). After the deal to move up with the Buffalo Bills to land Tavon Austin, this leaves the Rams with no second round selection but two third round picks and two sixth round picks after the Falcons trade.
General Manager Les Snead is again showing his prowess at working the draft to his advantage. Don’t be surprised if the Rams are active again on day two with those two picks in the third round. If they are targeting a running back (hint, hint Eddie Lacy) in round two, perhaps they could package those two choices together and move up to take him. Something tells me this team is far from finished adding difference makers for the 2013 season in this year’s draft.