NFL Draft

Newnan linebacker selected by Rams with 30th pick

by Staff and Wire Reports

First the bad. Alec Ogletree felt the wrath of his own mistakes off the field during Thursday’s first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Now the good.

He made it. And in the first round. And even before Notre Dame’s Manti Teo.

On a night where it looked as if the former Newnan High and Georgia Bulldogs standout could go a lot earlier, the St. Louis Rams swooped in just in time to select Ogletree with the No. 30 overall pick — one they obtained through a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.

It came with just two picks to spare in the first round.

St. Louis teeter-tottered in the first round, moving up eight spots with Buffalo early to pick West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin with the No. 8 pick.

Ogletree left school early following his junior year at Georgia and a trip to both last year’s SEC Championship Game and a trip to the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska having led the Bulldogs with 111 tackles.

He did it despite missing four games to a suspension, which could have been a strike against him with several NFL teams.

Others may have bypassed Ogletree following an arrest under suspicion of DUI while training in Arizona for the NFL Combine.

“I’ve learned you can be loved one day and hated the next,” Ogletree told the Times-Herald on Wednesday prior to the draft. “You just have to do your part. People are gonna say whatever they’re gonna think. The biggest thing is, just be who I am and let them see who I really am as a person, and let the rest take care of itself.”

Ogletree hopes to become as beloved in St. Louis as he was while playing as an hard-hitting All-State safety at Newnan High before converting to middle linebacker after his freshman season at Georgia.

Regardless, he becomes just the second former high school player from Coweta County to be selected in the first round of an NFL Draft. The other was veteran linebacker and East Coweta alum Keith Brooking in 1998.

Ogletree could also be followed in this year’s draft by former Cougars teammate Alan Bonner, whose name could be called either today or Saturday following a stellar career as a receiver and kick returner at Jacksonville State.



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