NFL Draft

Rams select LB Ogletree with 30th pick in 1st Round

by R.B. FALLSTROM, AP SPORTS WRITER

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The Newnan Times-Herald File Photo

Former Newnan High star Alec Ogletree was selected in the NFL Draft's first round by the St. Louis Rams on Thursday.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Under coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead, the St. Louis Rams refuse to stay put on draft day.

The Rams got help for quarterback Sam Bradford, trading up eight spots with Buffalo and taking speedy West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin with the eighth overall selection Thursday night. They surrendered two picks in that deal and got two back from the Atlanta Falcons when they traded down eight spots, and then used No. 30 to get former Newnan High and Georgia standout Alec Ogletree.

"I would have to say we're very excited, to say the least," Fisher said. "It was a scenario we had been discussing for several days. We got two very explosive, talented young players that are going to help us right away."

Ogletree, whose draft stock was probably hurt by an in-season suspension and a DUI arrest a week before the combine, is expected to fill a starting vacancy at outside linebacker. Without those problems, Fisher said Ogletree would have been a top 15 pick at worst.

"I was just happy to hear my name called," Ogletree said in a conference call with reporters in St. Louis. "I was dumb. I made a mistake and I just want to move forward."

Austin was among the fastest players at the combine with an official 40-yard dash time of 4.34 seconds, and with gaudy statistics to match that made him the first skill position player taken. His 2,910 all-purpose yards as a senior were fourth-most in NCAA history and he totaled 17 touchdowns last season, including one each on punt and kickoff returns.

Snead said the Bills had signaled the Rams earlier in the week that they'd be interested in moving down to acquire picks.

"We had a feeling interest was increasing," Fisher said. "We felt a few days ago that we were probably going to have to go up and get him."

The deal with the Falcons had been brewing the last couple weeks. Fisher is confident Ogletree can play outside linebacker given he was a safety his freshman year in college.

"We had Alec way up there," Fisher said. "People are going to make mistakes. This was a maturity issue."

Ogletree played both middle linebacker and outside linebacker at Georgia and said he'd play wherever the team wanted him. The Rams already have a fixture in the middle with James Laurinaitis.

"They really liked me and took a chance on me," Ogletree said. "I can make plays all over the field."



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