Could the Georgia linebacker be our next middle linebacker?
The Denver Broncos could be interested in Georgia prospect Alex Ogletree. The Versatile linebacker attended the University of Georgia, and is considered one of the top linebackers in this years draft. The combine is still a few weeks away, but expect to see Ogletree to test very well.
Ogletree has your prototypical size for a linebacker. He measures in at 6'3 and comes in at 234lbs. Ogletree is listed as a OLB and ILB. At OLB he comes in as your 2nd rated prospect, while he's your top ranked ILB by many. Ogletrees pre-combine 40 time comes in at a 4.63 seconds.
In 3 seasons at the University of Georgia Ogletree totaled 197 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 defensive TD and 1 Int. 2012 was his best year. In 2012 Ogletree totaled 111 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 1 Int, 6 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and 1 defensive TD. Ogletree was apart of a georgia defense that had top prospects OLB Jarvis Jones and NT/DT John Jenkins.
2011: Earned one of the team's David Jacobs Awards as a player who, by example, portrays courage, spirit, character and determination.
*Appeared in eight games making eight starts recording 52 tackles including 7.5 TFL, three forced fumbles and six QBPs; Suffered a broken foot in season opener vs. No. 5 Boise St. and missed the next seven games.
*In Outback Bowl vs. No. 12 Mich. St., recorded a career-high and team-best 13 tackles including a two TFLs and two PBUs.
*In SEC Championship vs. No. 1 LSU, led team with six tackles including a 17-yard sack.
*Led the team with a career-high 11 tackles, including 10 solo stops, at No. 21 Ga. Tech.
*Led the team with eight tackles, including two TFL, vs. Kentucky.
*Six tackles including two TFL and a forced fumble vs. No. No. 24 Auburn.
*Recorded five tackles and a forced fumble vs. Florida.
*Recipient of the Don Leebern, Jr. & Don Leebern, III Scholarship.
2010: Named to SEC Coaches' All-SEC Freshman Team.
*Earned team's Newcomer of the Year Award on defense.
*Appeared in 12 games making five starts recording 34 tackles.
*Had a career-high 10 tackles, with seven solo stops, at No. 2 Auburn.
*Start at SS for the first time and recorded three tackles, a pass break-up and blocked a punt vs. Idaho State.
*Recipient of the Leon Farmer Athletic Scholarship.
*Earned Athletic Director's Honor Roll distinction for summer semester.
The twin brother of teammate (and fullback) Alexander Ogletree, Alec has made a splash during his time in the starting lineup for the Bulldogs with his big hits and momentum changing turnovers. However, Ogletree is less reliable off the field, as he was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season for a violation of team rules. He will be considered one of the best athletes at his position, and that derives from Ogletree's history at the safety position, where he played as a freshman, even making five starts in 2010. Heading into his sophomore season, Ogletree continued to grow, and the coaching staff asked him to move to inside linebacker. That was until he suffered a broken right foot in the season opener against Boise State and missed the following six games. He returned to the field against Florida and went on to earn the team's David Jacobs Award as a player who, by example, portrays courage, spirit, character and determination.
At safety as a freshman, Ogletree recorded 34 total tackles, one of which went for a loss. Despite missing almost seven full games in 2011, Ogletree recorded 52 total tackles from his inside linebacker spot, including 7.5 for loss, three of which were sacks. He added two forced fumbles and two pass breakups. During his final season in Athens, Ogletree accounted for 111 total tackles, 11.5 going for a loss with three sacks. He showed more comfort in coverage with five pass breakups, including his first interception. Ogletree also scored on a blocked field goal attempt against Alabama in the SEC championship.
STRENGTHS: Has excellent speed for the position, can turn on the jets to chase plays down form behind. Beats blocks with hand quickness, plays the position like a safety with a chance to build a frame like a linebacker. That helps undercut blocks to make tackles for loss from behind. Can really hit when he wants to. Attacks blockers with authority. Best at closing on the edge, when running back looks to bounce outside or the quarterback scrambles out of the pocket. Flashes plays where he looks possessed, like nothing will stop him. Stick to running backs out of the backfield in coverage, even with a slip he has enough closing speed to be reliable in coverage. Attacks the football when tackling in the hopes of creating a fumble. Outstanding straight-line speed. Plays loose.
WEAKNESSES: Rarely uses hands to fight with blockers despite an aggressive mentality. Overruns a lot of plays between the tackles, struggles to recover. Has a lot of issues dealing with second level blocks from the offensive line, rarely can work over top of them, there winds up walled off. Run and chase player at this point, loses gap integrity with false or wasted steps. Dives or lunges for a lot of tackles rather than running through them and wrapping up. Mentality changes when attacking an offensive lineman compared to a running back.
NFL COMPARISON Thomas Davis
BOTTOM LINE: It is tough to question Ogletree's athleticism at the linebacker position. Just watching him close on runs or swing passes on the edge is worth the price of admission. Despite playing the last two years at inside linebacker in the Bulldogs 3-4 defense, it would not be surprising to see Ogletree make the switch to weakside linebacker in a defense that uses a four man front. The reason being is the junior struggles to get over top of blocks but does his best work chasing and closing. Expect the Bulldog to be a three down player if he cuts down on wasted steps. Since Ogletree is expected to impress in workouts, expect him to be a top-50 selection.
Ogletree signed with Georgia as a highly regarded safety prospect. He was a 2009 USA Today All-USA first Team selection and Parade Magazine All-American out of Newnan, Ga., where he was named to the All-Decade team by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
An excellent all-around athlete, Ogletree was a starter on the basketball team and ran the 400-meter dash and the 4x100 relay in addition to participating in the long jump in high school.
That versatility would continue to be on display at Georgia, where he earned the team's Newcomer of the Year award as a true freshman in 2010 while registering 34 tackles in five starts (12 games total) at strong safety.
As Ogletree continued to grow, however, the Georgia coaching staff asked him during the offseason to make the move to inside linebacker. His size and athleticism made him a standout during summer practices heading into 2011, and expectations were high that he'd become a star.
Unfortunately, Ogletree suffered a broken foot in the season opener versus Boise State and missed the next seven games. Once he returned, however, Ogletree showed why the team had faith in him, registering just 20 tackles behind team leader Shawn Williams with 52 stops, including 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and tying for the team lead with two forced fumbles.
Ogletree suffered another setback when he was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season for a violation of team rules. However, he wasted no time making an impact upon his return to the team. He racked up 98 tackles in nine games and announced he would leave the Bulldogs a year early after Georgia beat Nebraska in its bowl game.
"It was a great run while I was here, just want to take a chance on this opportunity to go to the NFL and pursue my dreams," he said. "You don't know where you're gonna get drafted at, but I just felt it was the right opportunity for me to go, and just based on my parents and coaches and stuff like that, I feel like I've got a good hold on the situation."
Ogletree's final play for the Bulldogs was a sack, taking down Nebraska's Taylor Martinez to seal the bowl win. "It's great," Ogletree said. "I was real joyous. Coach called up a blitz for me, and I just took advantage of it and made the sack." - Seth Emerson, The Macon Telegraph
Make no mistake about it Jarvis Jones is the preeminent pass rusher in the SEC and this team's most bankable star on the defensive side of the ball, but Ogletree is an exciting prospect in his own right who could be a first-round pick himself.
The junior's lanky frame (6-3, 234) and staggering closing speed make him a potentially more dynamic player at the next level than Manti Te'o, though Jones isn't nearly as far along in the subtleties of the position having only made the switch from safety two years ago.
STRENGTHS: A former safety, Ogletree showed off his terrific range and athleticism, making plays all over the field in 2012 and was often the best player on a defense loaded with NFL talent. Terrific quickness around the edge, capable of making stops in the backfield and is fast in pursuit. Doesn't shy from making the big hit. Arrives with deceiving power and violent intentions. Lengthy frame, athleticism and experience in coverage. Has the long arms scouts like from linebackers. Excellent special teams player whose ball skills were demonstrated when he leapt high to snatch an onside kick early against LSU in the SEC Championship game.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to be more consistent filling against the run and tackling with better pad level. Leaner than ideal frame. He'll need to show greater strength in disengaging from blockers. Off-field concern following a four-game suspension in 2012, reportedly for violating Georgia's substance-abuse policy.
Prospect: Alec Ogletree
Best Position: 43 Outside Linebacker
40 Time: 4.60 (Estimated)
Scouting Report Overview:
Alec Ogletree played inside linebacker for the Bulldogs in 2012, after converting from Safety early in his college career. Ogletree uses the skills he learned as a Safety to great use as a linebacker for Georgia. His play recognition and pursuit to the football is very impressive and is more akin to your typical Safety than a traditional linebacker. In the modern passing NFL, scouts are on the lookout for linebackers that can cover from sideline to sideline and Ogletree certainly fits that bill.
Ogletree is a very intelligent linebacker, he locates the ball very quickly and uses his great athleticism to get to the ball carrier, typically before the back can get to the second level. Inside the tackles defending the run, Ogletree can struggle at times with bigger offensive lineman that can hold him down, to negate his athletic ability. To combat this at the NFL level, Ogletree will need to put on some bulk for sure and probably will make the switch to outside linebacker.
As a former safety, Ogletree is far from a liability in coverage. His quickness and overall athleticism will allow him to cover most NFL tight ends and slot receivers in man coverage when necessary. His zone coverage still has some room for development , but again his athleticism makes up for the times he is out of position.
Ogletree has a great frame to work with as a linebacker at 6-3, 232, but he will almost certainly have to add 10 to 15 pounds to survive at the NFL level. In my eyes, this weight wouldn’t negate his athletic ability and would only help him in the interior run game. It will be interesting to see Ogletree’s 40 time at the combine. On tape he plays very fast with an estimated 40 time of 4.60. A fast time at the combine will only increase his stock.
In 2010, Ogletree was arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft stemming from a June incident of a stolen scooter helmet. Ogletree was suspended by Georgia for the first game of the season. In 2012, Ogletree was suspended by the team for four games for a positive drug test. These are situations NFL scouts will certainly ask questions about, and could force Ogletree down draft boards.
NextEra RAP Best Postion Grade: 94.0 (43 OLB), (#2 Rated 43 OLB) (#26 Overall)
Other Positions: 76.9 (43 MLB), 75.3 (34 ILB)
Alec Ogletree is a first round athlete, but the character concerns may force him into round 2. As a 43 OLB, Ogletree can be a very productive starter in this league, if the character concerns don’t come up again.
Projection – Late 1st – Early 2nd
NFL Player Comparison – Sean Weatherspoon
Ogletree is a favorite of mine. He's a very athletic linebacker who would be a solid addition to our defense. I'm very excited to see him at the combine. If tests and interviews well he may fly up some teams boards. I do not expect him to last until pick 28, so if Denver wants him they may need to trade up to get him. He's going to be a fun prospect to watch in the coming months.