Georgia Football: What Alec Ogletree to NFL Draft Means for Bulldogs D in 2013
After beating Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, 45-31, junior linebacker Alec Ogletree declared for the 2013 NFL draft, according to 247 Georgia writer Gentry Estes:
Georgia LB Alec Ogletree confirms he is foregoing his final season to enter the NFL Draft.— Gentry Estes (@GentryEstes247) January 1, 2013
As confirmed by David Ching and ESPN, Ogletree simply said that leaving early for the NFL, "was the right thing to do."
This will certainly shake up the April draft, as ESPN's Mel Kiper, per ESPN, said that Ogletree, "could be a top-10 pick."
Ogletree was a key player on the talent-filled Bulldogs defense. On the year he had 67 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.0 sacks. He also forced and recovered a fumble late in the Capital One Bowl to pretty much end the game for Nebraska.
Losing Ogletree will undoubtedly hurt, but what if this is a sign of more early NFL exits to come?
Safety Bacarri Rambo is already leaving, as he is a senior. However, the player everyone will be watching is All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones.
Jarvis Jones is one of the best pass-rushers in the country with 12.5 sacks on the year. Losing Ogletree will be hard enough for Mark Richt and company to cope with, but losing both Ogletree and Jones will put the Georgia defense in rebuilding mode.
That will make things a bit harder for the Bulldogs against the likes of Clemson and LSU on next year's schedule.
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Plus, that will put a lot of pressure on soon-to-be sophomore Jordan Jenkins, as he'll be called on to step up if both Ogletree and Jones leave for the NFL.
Now, imagine Ogletree had decided to stay and Jones chooses not to leave. Georgia would have perhaps the best linebacking corps in the FBS with that lineup.
But no matter what Jones decides to do, Ogletree leaves a hole in the middle of the defense that Georgia won't be able to immediately fill. According to UGASports.com, Ogletree's backup was Christian Robinson, but he will also be gone since he is a senior.
Mark Richt and the Georgia coaching staff are going to have quite a task in coaching up the young linebackers hoping to fill Ogletree's shoes. We'll just have to wait and see who steps up before the 2013 season begins.
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