Aryssah Stankevitsch

Bears Could Replace Urlacher With Ogletree

Created on Apr. 24, 2013 7:47 PM EST

In what experts are saying is one of the worst drafts in nearly a decade, this 21-year old from Georgia may be a diamond in the rough—and the Chicago Bears may be lucky enough to snag him with the 20th pick.

At 6-3, 240 pounds, linebacker Alec Ogletree is one of the most athletic prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. Though he only ran a 4.7 40-yard dash at the Combine, he has shown great speed on field and had 112 tackles this past season for the Bulldogs in four less games.

Losing Brian Urlacher to contract disputes and Nick Roach to the Oakland Raiders, the Bears are in need of young talent at linebacker. Lance Briggs, D.J. Williams and James Anderson are all over 30, but can certainly guide Ogletree, who needs to still work on some areas of his game, such as using his hands to shed blocks, improving on bad angles to the ball carrier, and tends to react slowly to the play.

He began his career as a safety, and much like Urlacher, made the transition to middle linebacker. Urlacher’s hole is a big one to fill. Ogletree could be great if truly pushed, but is rumored to be lazy.

That’s not the only problem. Ogletree has been charged with misdemeanor theft, and was once suspended for a positive drug test. Back in February, he was also charged with a DUI, causing many interested teams to back off and project him lower in the first round.

General manager Phil Emery sees something in the young linebacker’s character however, and is known for overlooking players’ legal worries. Emery traded for Brandon Marshall after known troubles at nightclubs, to reunite him with Jay Cutler.

“I think I’m very versatile,” Ogletree said. “I can cover and come up against and hit. I can just fill the gap.”

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