Can Alec Ogletree Resemble Patrick Willis?


During the broadcast of the Rams third preseason games, the broadcasters said that Fisher had described Ogletree as being the Rams’ young version of Patrick Willis. Ogletree had struggled in his first two preseason games, but finally showed some positive potential against Denver, but to compare him to Patrick Willis is saying an awful lot. But is it true?

Both players are almost identical in size. Ogletree is 6’2 and 242 lbs, and Willis is 6’1 and 240 lbs. Both players also played in the SEC conference. Ogletree played at Georgia while Willis played at Mississippi.  At the combine, Ogletree posted a 4.7- 40yd time, 20 bench press reps, a 33.5 inch vertical jump, 122 inch broad jump, 7.16 3- cone drill time, and 4.39- 20 yard shuffle time. Willis on the other hand posted a 4.51-40 yard time, 22 bench press reps, 39 inch vertical jump, 119 inch broad jump, 7.23-3 cone drill time, and 4.46-20 yd shuttle time. Now we all know that what happens at the combine doesn’t always translate to the football field, but in all but a few areas Willis and Ogletree are pretty similar. Willis however, was drafted 11th overall and Ogletree 30th, but had it not been for some off the field issues, Ogletree could have been drafted in that range.

In college, both players played in the SEC which is an extremely good conference with NFL talent on every team in the conference. Both players also played only three years of college football. Willis played linebacker all three years while Ogletree played safety his first year and then switched to linebacker. In Willis’ junior year he had, 137 total tackles, 11.5 of those were tackles for loss. He also had 7 passes defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovered, and three sacks. Willis did not have an interception his junior year, but did have one his sophomore year. Ogletree on the other hand had 111 total tackles, 11.5 of those being behind the line of scrimmage. He also had six passes defended, an interception, a forced fumble, and one touchdown.

With Ogletree, we have only seen three preseason games, therefore it is kind of hard to judge what his career is going to be like. Willis has 7 years of NFL tape and has made the most of every second of it. What Fisher might be saying is that he thinks Ogletree could be a defensive playmaker and leader like Willis is. We finally saw Ogletree put the pieces together against the Broncos as he had an interception and then forced a fumble that he recovered and returned for a touchdown, not to mention he almost had a second interception in the end zone. Those are game changing plays, almost Patrick Willis like. It will be really interesting to see what Ogletree does in the actual defensive system.

It is probably way too early to be comparing these two players, however it is interesting to see how these two players have compared. Fisher made the comparison knowing that Ogletree has the potential to back up his word. Ogletree has had his bumps, but which rookie doesn’t, especially in the preseason. Ogletree has high potential and who knows, in seven years we may just be comparing the next up and coming linebackers to Alec Ogletree. Oh, and I almost forgot, both players where the number 52.