Ogletree had projected from a mid-first round selection to an early second-round pick, though attempting to gauge the draft slot for outside linebackers in a 4-3 defensive scheme could rank among the more inexact of draft sciences.
As the names began to populate the first-round draft board, the angst began to build for the Georgia linebacker.
“The day of the draft, I was kind of nervous, because I definitely wanted to go in the first round,” Ogletree said. “I didn’t know where I’d go until I got the phone call from Coach Fisher. “You really
Finally, following the Rams’ second trade of the draft, the Rams picked Ogletree at 30th overall, just three picks away from having to wait another day to know where he’d be playing on Sundays. He was one of only two linebackers chosen in the first round, joining college teammate Jarvis Jones. While he is quick to state he’d have been content having been drafted at a multitude of spots, Ogletree allowed that there is a special significance to being selected on the draft’s first day.
“It’s something that when you’re playing football, you want to be able to say you were drafted in the first round, and being drafted at all,” Ogletree said. “I feel very blessed.”
Ogletree certainly provided the Rams ample return on their first-round investment right away, serving as the team’s starting outside linebacker for all 16 games, establishing a team rookie record with 155 total tackles. Ogletree became the first player not named
Now one year removed from the process, Ogletree is coming off of his first real offeason since his second year of college. A year ago, Ogletree’s college career had barely concluded before he began the seemingly endless pre-draft process, from the NFL Combine and Georgia’s pro day, to making cross-country tours to meet with NFL coaches and executives from multiple teams. While he enjoyed the whirlwind while it lasted, it would be fair to say Ogletree is content with the pre-draft mania remaining a one-time event.
“You go for about a year and a half strong,” Ogletree said. “You’re leaving college, then the Combine, then pro day—it definitely takes a toll. By this time last year, I was just trying to ease my mind and take it all in.”