Part of my daily routine during NFL Draft season is to scour the various mock drafts floating around. I don't just hit the usual suspects (NFL.com, CBSSports.com, SI, SBN), but I check out some of the lesser known mock drafters too (Ourlads, WalterFootball, SMD, Drafttek). I look at the national columnists, and I check out the local writers, all to gain a better perspective of who the masses believe the Chicago Bears will be selecting at #20 in the NFL Draft.
The name I've seen linked to the Bears the most has been Georgia linebacker, Alec Ogletree.
From the Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei:
20. Bears: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia. If he makes it this far, Ogletree seems like an easy pick. A trade down remains a viable possibility, as the Bears have flexibility as far as needs.
Enter Alex Ogletree, a highly athletic prospect who possesses the talent to not only take over at either the Mike or Sam positions, but to potentially turn one of the Bears new additions into a back-up this season.
From Charley Casserly of NFL.com:
The Bears' advancing age at linebacker makes this a natural fit.
The latest mock from FFToolbox:
20. CHI: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia*
Ogletree's athleticism could carry him up into the first half of the first round. Off-field concerns are unlikely to push him much further down than this as the Bears are aging rapidly across their backer corps.
From Dan Banks of Sports Illustrated:
The Bears have added linebackers D.J. Williams and James Anderson after the Brian Urlacher divorce became final, but they would still happily make room for Olgetree if he convinces them his character issues are a non-factor.
There are six mock drafters at CBS Sports, and five of them have the Bears taking Ogletree.
Linebacker seems to be the Chicago Bears consensus, with Notre Dame's Manti Te'o and Kansas State's Arthur Brown each receiving some mentions to the Bears at 20 as well. But without question, the name I see attached to the Bears the most, is Ogletree's.
Ogletree played safety early in his college career, so the comparisons to Brian Urlacher were understandable, but Urlacher is bigger and faster than Ogletree. That's not to say that Ogletree is small or slow, because on film his athleticism pops out, and at 6'2" 242, he's plenty big enough for the rigors of the NFL.
If the Bears were to draft him, he could project to all three LB positions for the Bears. He played inside linebacker at Georgia, but he has the motor to play the weak side OLB spot, and some scouts believe that with improved technique that he could play the strong side OLB. My guess is if Phil Emery drafts him, he'll do so with the future of the middle in mind.
Alec Ogletree does come with some baggage. The latest was being charged with a DUI just weeks before the NFL Combine. There was also a four game suspension in 2012 that was reported as being from a failed drug test. He was also arrested for theft his freshman year at Georgia.
The Bears will have to weigh his potential impact on the field, against the potential headache he could be off the field. ESPN's Todd McShay calls him the most explosive defensive player in the draft, and believes he "might be pound for pound the best athlete in this draft.", he also says with his talent you look past the red flags. Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports calls him "too good to pass up" at 20 for the Bears. The National Football Post calls him a three down linebacker, and the best inside linebacker available.
Even though he was suspended for four games last year, he still managed over 100 tackles with 11.5 for loss, 3 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for a TD. His 4.7 40 yard dash time at the combine, nor his other speed drills at the combine were out of this world, but when you watch him play he's one of the fastest guys on that field.
Phil Emery and company will have plenty to discuss when they have their private meeting with Ogletree, which is scheduled by the way. And in case you were wondering, the Chicago Bears were represented at the Georgia pro day.