Pittsburgh Steelers

Why the Pittsburgh Steelers Won't Draft Georgia LB Alec Ogletree

Nov 3, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) warms up before the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Sanford Stadium. Georgia won 37-10. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Mike StangerCorrespondent IApril 9, 2013

In a perfect hypothetical world, Alec Ogletree gets drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, helps them win six more Super Bowls and has his own brand of iced tea sold at a local Giant Eagle near you.

Looking at Ogletree from an athleticism standpoint, such a scenario is not implausible. Well, perhaps the six Super Bowls part.

Standing 6'2", 242 pounds, Ogletree is a physical specimen. At the NFL combine, he ran the 40 in 4.70 seconds, completed the 20-yard shuttle in 4.39, finished the three-cone drill in 7.16 and benched 225 pounds 20 times.

Ogletree is not just a show pony, though. He can actually play.

A former safety, Ogletree prowled the serengeti of Sanford Stadium, accelerating with the fluidity of a cheetah and hitting with the impact of a rhino. In 2012, he finished with 111 tackles even though he played in only 10 games. Against Alabama in the SEC championship game, he returned a blocked field goal 55 yards for a touchdown.

Making the hypothetical union of Ogletree and the Steelers a reality appears to be a no-brainer. However, the reality is that Ogletree's decision-making abilities off the field don't match the prowess he displays on it.

Before the start of last season, a positive drug test led to a four-game suspension. And he didn't stop there with his self-destructive actions. Just before the combine, he added a DUI to his resume.

Of course, he came out with the obligatory statement of remorse afterwards, but even if he spoke sincerely, his past exploits ring exponentially louder and have greater effect on his draft stock than any of his words.

With Ben Roethlisberger's past boorish behavior (ironically in Georgia) and rookie Alameda Ta'amu's arrest last October and subsequent guilty plea to driving under the influence, the Rooneys have no patience left for frat-boy tomfoolery right now.

It's a shame. Ogletree would have been a perfect fit in defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's scheme. Juxtaposed with Lawrence Timmons, the two of them could have formed a dynamic inside-linebacking duo that wreaked havoc on the opposition.

Unfortunately, perfection is unattainable for us mere mortals, and Ogletree is no exception.

Maybe he will come to his senses and put together a stellar NFL career. It just won't be in a Pittsburgh Steelers' uniform.

And that's too bad because it would have been fun watching Ogletree constantly harass Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco over the next several years—a lot of fun.

Alas, it won't happen.

Stupid reality.

 

NFL combine stats courtesy of NFL.com.

Player's stats courtesy of ESPN.com.

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