When NFL picks are traded, like Alec Ogletree and Robert Griffin III were in a roundabout way, the resulting players tend to get compared to one another every now and then. The St. Louis Rams are making that type of thing as difficult as possible.
First, they sent their No. 2 pick in 2012 to the Washington Redskins in exchange for the No. 6 and No. 39 picks in 2012, the No. 22 pick this year and Washington’s 2014 first-rounder. Instead of using that No. 6 pick on a player, they swapped it with the Dallas Cowboys and picked up another second-rounder.
The No. 39 pick was cashed in on cornerback Janoris Jenkins, but the No. 22 pick this year got traded again, this time to the Atlanta Falcons, for their No. 30, No. 92 and No. 198 selections.
That’s where Ogletree comes in: James Laurinaitis isn’t known for his speed, but his new running mate is.
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"He can chase down. He's got excellent speed. Pursuit speed." - Jeff Fisher on Alec Ogletree #RamsDraft4/26/2013, 4:10:05 AM
Laurinaitis (142 tackles) and Jo-Lonn Dunbar (115 tackles) spearheaded the team’s tackling efforts, but the next four of the Rams’ leaders in that department were defensive backs. Linebacker Rocky McIntosh tallied 44 in 16 games.
St. Louis was 15th in stopping opponents' rushing attacks (117.1 yards per game) and passing attacks (225.1) last season. Adding Tavon Austin earlier in the draft to contribute more first downs to their own offense will be advantageous for the defense.
Ogletree further helps the cause by corralling ball-carriers so Laurinaitis can wrap them up, if he’s not chasing dudes down on the edge himself. St. Louis’ defense spent the fifth-most time on the field in 2012. Anyone who can help Chris Long, Robert Quinn and company get back to the sidelines is a helpful addition.
Ogletree totaled 111 tackles, three sacks, six passes defensed, a pick, a forced fumble and a fumble recovered for a touchdown with the Bulldogs as a junior.
Jamal Collier is the St. Louis Rams draft correspondent for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @StatManJ.
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