Prospect: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Grade: 7.45 (Grading Scale)
+Adequate height and superb length for the position, features lanky arms.
+Strength is still developing, sports a chiseled frame.
+Elite speed for a linebacker, chases people down from behind with ease.
+Covers a lot of ground, accelerates quickly and changes direction fluidly.
+Fluid hips, moves well in space.
+Changes direction, both north/south and east/west, with ease.
+Excellent leaper, explosive, sudden athlete.
-Needs to add five to ten pounds to compete as a middle linebacker.
-May be confined to the weakside “Will” linebacker position due to lack of bulk.
+Very physical tackler, loves to hit the ball-carrier – needs to stay on his feet more though.
+Adept at picking his way through traffic cleanly and getting to the ball.
+Side steps would be blockers with ease, explosive laterally.
+Improved over the last year taking on pulling linemen, sets the edge much better than in the past.
-Needs to use his hands more to fend off would-be blockers.
-Occasionally takes poor angles and false steps that his speed won’t be able to cover up in the NFL.
-Can still improve his ability to shed blocks and take on lead blockers.
-Questionable discipline with his run fits.
Pass Rush / Blitz
+Has the flexibility to speed rush around the edge, although gets a bit high at times.
+Effective “green dog” blitzer, transitions from drop to rush quickly.
-Lacks effective counters and needs to develop a power move to complement his speed.
-Looks like he confused his blitzing assignment at times, ended up in his teammates way.
+His skills as a former safety are evident here.
+Not phased by play-action, able to drop in zone and still explode downhill to the ball carrier if needed.
+Reads the quarterback’s eyes very well, able to jump a lot of routes.
+High-points the ball in zone, length and leaping ability a huge plus here.
+Able to recognize screen and slip through blocks to the receiver.
+Closes quickly, disrupts a lot of catches by getting a hand in front.
-Allows tight ends to cross his face too easily, needs to be more effective re-routing.
-Doesn’t have great hands, left some interceptions on the field.
+Improving football instincts, really caught on at the end of his career at Georgia.
-Sat out the beginning of his junior season due to a team rules violation.
-Arrested in 2010 for misdemeanor theft.
Ogletree looks like a prototypical 4-3 WLB to me. Let him run around blocks and pick his way through traffic, two things he does very well, and get to the ball-carrier. He has improved taking on blockers, but I don’t want him in a position where he has to do that each and every play. Put him in space and let his athleticism make plays.
He should be a three-down linebacker in the NFL, as his speed and change of direction abilities makes him ideally suited to play in “sub-packages”, which are increasingly becoming the “base” defense in the current NFL landscape. Ogletree’s ability to stay disciplined against the read-option and play-action gives him added value as well for teams in the NFC East and NFC West.
I listed Ogletree as a certain Top 100 player last May, but I think he has played himself into the top fifty prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. If he performs well at the NFL Combine, both on the field and in the interview room, I don’t think the top twenty is out of reach for the former Georgia Bulldog.