I don't know a Rams fan who doesn't love Alec Ogletree. He's a great example of how ultra-athletic players have begun taking over the NFL - particularly at OLB. With that in mind, the Rams desire to move him to the recently vacated MLB spot seemed curious.
The issue has somewhat divided Rams fans, and I can see both sides to the argument. Let's take a closer look...
Experience at MLB
While the SEC isn't the NFL, it's the closest thing to it in the NCAA ranks. Having experience playing MLB earlier in his career will make the transition a little easier.
It's no secret that 'Tree is incredibly athletic. He can be a sideline-to-sideline difference maker in the middle - as long as he doesn't get lost in the congestion. We've seen him be a tackling machine, he can hold his own in coverage, and he can lay the big hits too. If he can put it all together, this could be a VERY good move for the Rams. Best case senario? Think Luke Kuechly lite
Knowledge and Versatility
His experience at OLB, MLB, and S at various points in his playing career will behoove him in his role as QB of the D. With experience at several different positions, he should be able to more easily relate concepts to teammates on the field.
Leaves Rams Vulnerable if Barron Walks
The obvious question with the move is: Who fills in for Ogletree? The Rams have made it clear that they want Mark Barron back, but what happens if they're unable to come to terms? That would leave a potentially larger hole than JL55 left at MLB. In the wake of this move, the Rams would be wise to prioritize Barron when thinking about Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins' contracts.
Threat of Losing Athleticism
MLBs aren't necessarily known for their athleticism. Fans are much more accustomed to seeing players like Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher quarterbacking defenses with the new age players like Kuechly being the exception not the rule.
That's not to take anything away from Lewis and Urlacher - they both had HOF caliber careers. But they weren't the type of athlete that Ogletree or Kuechly are either. There's no guarantee that 'Tree can transition his athleticism to MLB like the Panthers star has.
Learning Curve of Williams D
Gregg Williams' defenses are no joke. Having to pilot the scheme, the alignments, the blitzes, the audibles, etc. is a lot to handle. JL55 proved to be an extension of Williams during their time together. Ogletree is a smart player, but how will he handle the increased responsibility?
What do y'all think?