The 2014 St Louis Rams are the youngest team in the league. They are going to rely on a lot of young players playing key positions this upcoming season. These young guys need to step up and come into their own if St Louis is going to compete in the ultra competitive NFC west.
Alec Ogletree is a guy who coaches and fans should really keep on eye on during the preseason and regular season. The second year man out of Georgia started last year as a rookie and led the team in tackles with 117, 94 of them being solo. He also showed flashes of playmaking and ballhawking ability with 6 forced fumbles and an interception.
The Rams feature one of the deepest and most talented defensive lines in football. This terrorizing line will occupy and shred blocks from opposing offensive lineman, leaving gaps and lanes for Ogletree and the rest of the linebacking corps to fly in and make plays. Olgetree will look to use his excellent closing speed to take advantage of the extra attention on the D-line.
The emergence of both Robert Quinn and Chris Long will be giving opposing defensive coordinators headaches on the outside, opening up the middle for blitzing linebackers. Olgetree had just 1.5 sacks in 2013, a number he will look to improve on in 2014.
As mentioned before, Olgetree has great closing speed that allows him to duck offensive lineman and play sideline to sideline. This speed was on display week 6 of last season against the Texans when he returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown. It is this type of play making ability that has the Rams staff excited about the future for Ogletree.
Ogletree has had a bit of legal troubles in the past, as he was arrested for a DWI just before the draft last year. He also had a theft case that was dropped during his time at Georgia. I believe that part of his life is behind him and he has moved on and is focused on becoming the best football player he can be. I think if Ogletree can stay healthy and out of trouble all of this season, he will become the next defensive star for the Rams.