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Thread: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    We also drafted Jason Smith #2 overall. What's your point?
    Isn't it obvious, sometimes you strike gold, sometimes you don't. You can add Alex Barron to the list.

    Go Rams!
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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    We also drafted Jason Smith #2 overall. What's your point?
    My point is pretty simple: If there is a guy you feel is an unbelievable player of need who happens to be an offensive lineman, you don't NOT pick the guy because of some asinine belief that "you shouldn't pick an offensive lineman in the first round".

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    My point is pretty simple: If there is a guy you feel is an unbelievable player of need who happens to be an offensive lineman, you don't NOT pick the guy because of some asinine belief that "you shouldn't pick an offensive lineman in the first round".
    I agree wholeheartedly. I don't know anyone with that belief actually. If you love a player and he is highly rated on your board, no matter what position, it is justified that you can take him anywhere in the draft.


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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Unless Snead gets a fantastic offer for the #2 overall pick, I really want to see Jake Matthews drafted right then and there. Franchise LT's don't come around very often and Matthews is a stud. His pedigree doesn't hurt either. With Long and Saffold(assuming he could even be signed and then u might want him at guard anyway) injury history, you cannot pass on a Matthews.
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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by bradwill View Post
    Unless Snead gets a fantastic offer for the #2 overall pick, I really want to see Jake Matthews drafted right then and there. Franchise LT's don't come around very often and Matthews is a stud. His pedigree doesn't hurt either. With Long and Saffold(assuming he could even be signed and then u might want him at guard anyway) injury history, you cannot pass on a Matthews.
    Yeah what he said

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    I seem to remember saying this exact thing in several other threads Hub thank you for putting it out there for all to see. When you look at the OLine Fisher inherited it's obvious why no high picks were devoted to the OLine. He inherited a great line, they were able to stay healthy and kept under contract and that allowed him to draft lower rounds for most of the replacements to be coached up.

    Those horrid announcers yesterday cited one stat that should be all the reason you need to see the Rams draft a lineman early. We started 6 different combinations of oline in the last eight weeks. Only one of our starting linemen from week one ended the season in the starting lineup. Well make that two Saffold was in the lineup just in his 3rd different position on the year. The one that started week 1 and week 17 was so good that Fisher felt the need to rotate him in and out at LG series by series for about half the year. Over the last three years now Jake Long, Harvey Dahl, Roger Saffold and Scott Wells have all missed time to injuries. Saffold is a free agent and Dahl and Wells not only don't earn their salaries but they miss a lot of time.

    That all being said we'll go into next year with Long coming back from his bad knee injuries, and likely won't be ready to start the season. Chris Williams at LG. Scott Wells and his salary cap hit and injury history at C. Harvey Dahl with his salary cap hit and injury history at RG. And Joe Barksdale with one year on his contract left who did decent in pass blocking but not so hot in run blocking at RT. Williams, Shelly Smith and Roger Saffold are free agents. Tim Barnes who did ok filling in the last couple weeks for Wells is also a free agent. Our depth on the current roster is Barrett Jones, who was inactive until the last couple weeks and I don't think saw any play time, Person who was inactive all year and Sean Hooey who was on the practice squad all year.

    So when free agency starts this is what we're looking at

    LT- Long
    RG-
    C- Wells, Jones
    RG
    RT Barksdale, Person

    That's it guys that's our OLine.

    One thing to also dispel the thought that Fisher won't draft an OLineman in the first is the fact that each one of our 1st round picks was a position of need.
    2012- Michael Brockers in the first as DT was a huge position of need for us.
    2013- Tavon Austion also a position of need as well as a role the team needed was a play maker
    2013- Alec Ogletree also a position of need as entering the draft we had 2 lb on the roster JL and Dunbarr.

    I think it's pretty safe to say that Fisher will take an OLine in the first. Not saying it will be Matthews at #2, I think we'll trade down to 4-7 and hope he's still there if not it's hard to say at this point. Or we could take one at 13. Sneed has also said that he believes in drafting multiple people at a position of weakness and making it a strength. I wouldn't be surprised if we come away from the draft with three linemen, one of Williams or Smith resigned and an outside free agent if Dahl and/or Wells are cut. Saffold I think will follow free agency to some money.
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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    As you said, some are just fallacies. But for 2014, make it Matthewwwwws!


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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Do you guys feel we should trade down from that #2 pick for more picks, or is there a guy you feel is an absolute must-have for us in that spot?

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    My point is pretty simple: If there is a guy you feel is an unbelievable player of need who happens to be an offensive lineman, you don't NOT pick the guy because of some asinine belief that "you shouldn't pick an offensive lineman in the first round".
    My thoughts exactly, you take the player you feel will benefit the team at the most crucial aspect of the game. I feel pass protection ought to be the biggest priority this offseason and whether we address it via FA or draft (Matthews or some raw OT) is up to Les and Fish. I have faith in this FO as they've shown more in two years than the previous regime in more than 10 years.

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    On the other side of things, pretty much no team could lose their entire starting offensive line and still have a good line. No one has two full starting Olines on their roster, it's just not possible.
    My point is that we need better depth on the O-line. Thanks in no small part to the RG-III deal, we should be able to address that need come this April. Real competition at every position on the line is a good thing. Hopefully we will be developing both a rookie OT and rookie OG in 2014. If their last names happen to be Matthews and Jackson, so much the better!

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    With regards to Jason Smith and Alex Barron, whilst they didn't make it in the league, they were highly touted players who went in the draft exactly where they were expected to go.

    I believe, however, that the reason they didn't make it was that football was a job for them rather than their passion. Smith and Barron's favourite sport was basketball.

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Fisher doesn't strike me as a guy who cares about positional value so much as "Is this the best guy for my team, and can I get him or later or do I have to take him now if I want him" That's just my opinion though.
    BINGO!!!!

    I think he evaluates all the prospects that he would pull the trigger on, takes in to account their projections and then determines their value based on what he feels the team needs.

    Just because our biggest need may be OT, it doesn't mean we have to take the first one off the board. The draft is about maximizing value, and sometimes that means passing over certain prospects.

    In other words, why take player X at two, if you're comfortable drafting and are reasonably sure you can get player Y or Z in the 2nd or 3rd round?

    I have not examined Jake Mathews, Tyler Lewan or any of the other top OTs in the draft, but I have a very difficult time believing there's this gigantic difference between any of them.

    In fact, a lot of times the difference is just the media hype one receives over another.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -12-31-2013 at 06:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    BINGO!!!!

    I think he evaluates all the prospects that he would pull the trigger on, takes in to account their projections and then determines their value based on what he feels the team needs.

    Just because our biggest need may be OT, it doesn't mean we have to take the first one off the board. The draft is about maximizing value, and sometimes that means passing over certain prospects.

    In other words, why take player X at two, if you're comfortable drafting and are reasonably sure you can get player Y or Z in the 2nd or 3rd round. .
    Yeah, I think that's going to be the $64,000 question of this draft.

    We're all assuming that Fisher will have a preference for Jake Matthews because of his father, but the truth of the matter is, if the Rams have similar grades on the top 3-4 tackles, then they'll probably not hesitate to move down knowing they can get a similar player later. And for as much as I like and want Matthews, that's a wise strategy if that's how your evaluations have worked out.

    One thing to consider, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember in 2012 that the Rams were prepared to pull the trigger on Michael Brockers at the sixth pick if they had to, but moved down with Dallas and we're fortunate enough that Brockers still fell to them. I don't think the same happens with Matthews - I think he's a lock in the Top 5-6 - but if I'm accurately remembering what happened in 2012, then that would support the idea of an organization willing to move down, even if it means risking missing out on a guy you really want.

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Yeah, I think that's going to be the $64,000 question of this draft.

    We're all assuming that Fisher will have a preference for Jake Matthews because of his father, but the truth of the matter is, if the Rams have similar grades on the top 3-4 tackles, then they'll probably not hesitate to move down knowing they can get a similar player later. And for as much as I like and want Matthews, that's a wise strategy if that's how your evaluations have worked out.

    One thing to consider, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember in 2012 that the Rams were prepared to pull the trigger on Michael Brockers at the sixth pick if they had to, but moved down with Dallas and we're fortunate enough that Brockers still fell to them. I don't think the same happens with Matthews - I think he's a lock in the Top 5-6 - but if I'm accurately remembering what happened in 2012, then that would support the idea of an organization willing to move down, even if it means risking missing out on a guy you really want.


    I think this provides good perspective on the dilemma teams face each year in the draft: Player A is an excellent player who plays a certain position and is coveted by many. He will be available at spots 1-7, but Player B is very good, plays the same position and will still be on the board at 12 and up. What do you do? To you take the unquestioned "sure thing" early or do you trade down for a guy you think might be almost as good? Will you take the Corvette or will you be just as happy with the ford mustang plus a little extra something? What are the intangibles that make the difference between a player being picked 7th and a guy being picked 12th?

    It seems like we have forever drafted/obtained offensive linemen, and it bothers me that many of these guys- Jason Smith, Alex Barron, Jacob Bell, etc... haven't worked out. We nonetheless still have this as a position of need, and I will trust Fisher to get the guy(s) he feels can best protect our QB. Without that protection, success is elusive.

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    Re: Never drafting a 1st round OL = Never will.....and other fallacies

    Here is clear evidence that Fisher will and could take an O linemen in the first round. Looking back to last year Perter King wrote about the Rams from inside the war room. Larry Warford was on the rams board and could have been the pick if Tree was lost.

    Peter King: In the St. Louis Rams’ NFL Draft War Room

    With the Rams relying heavily on a draft-and-develop route, days like last Thursday, Day 1 of the draft, loom as crucial. St. Louis entered the first round possessing the 16th and 22nd picks, and adding two impact players wasn't just a goal—it was absolutely vital to the Rams' hopes of contending in the division.

    That first round was the culmination of nine months of scouting prep, the result of which would be either fist-pumping euphoria or abject disappointment. If in the next few seasons the Rams catch up to and pass the best in the West, San Francisco and Seattle, they'll point to these five hours last Thursday as the point when it all began.

    5:47 p.m. CT, St. Louis Office of Rams COO Kevin Demoff Days before the draft, G.M.'s Les Snead of the Rams and Buddy Nix of the Bills agreed on a tentative deal: Buffalo would send its first-round pick, No. 8, to St. Louis for No. 16 plus the Rams' second-rounder, No. 46, and the teams would swap third-rounders, moving the Rams up seven slots. Now Demoff's phone was chirping. It was Bills president Russ Brandon, and the news wasn't good: Buffalo had other suitors for the pick.
    "Do we have to go get another partner?" Demoff asked. Could be, Brandon replied.

    A dark cloud. On the big board in the windowless second-floor draft room at club headquarters were five targeted players. The two whom Snead and coach Jeff Fisher valued above all were West Virginia receiver-returner Tavon Austin and Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree. Austin—a durable lightning bug and the most dangerous player on the board—was crucial. St. Louis ranked 31st in punt-return average in 2012, and QB Sam Bradford's 6.72 yards per attempt were 26th. Greatest Show on Turf? Not anymore. These Rams needed weapons.

    In an ideal world St. Louis would move up to No. 8 for Austin, then take the troubled but speedy Ogletree at No. 22—or maybe trade down, still get Ogletree and recoup the capital they lost in getting Austin. A day earlier Fisher and Snead gathered the coaches and scouts to explain the plan and hear out any naysayers. There were none.

    Losing the deal with the Bills, the Rams felt certain, meant losing Austin. The Jets picked ninth and coveted him. St. Louis had been trying to get ahead of New York for six weeks, got to the finish line, and—poof!—it could be gone in minutes.
    Or the price could change.

    What would really seal the deal for Buddy is a seven," Bills cap guy Jim Overdorf told Demoff less than an hour before the draft. Demoff knew that if adding a seventh-rounder to the package was what it would take to finish the move, the 222nd pick wouldn't stand in the way. Snead and Fisher okayed it. The trade wasn't a lock yet—nothing is until both sides verbally inform the league of trade details. Now the Rams had to just sit and wait.

    Snead, 42, paid his scouting dues under Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff (a.k.a. Trader Thomas) in Atlanta. He's been a good match with the 55-year-old Fisher, who historically has been willing to take chances on talented players with troubled backgrounds or hotheaded streaks. Some have busted (Albert Haynesworth, eventually; Pacman Jones); some have paid off (Cortland Finnegan). Snead's draft attitude has been to not let the board come to him but to go get the players he wanted, using as much draft capital as needed. When he interviewed for the Rams' G.M. job 15 months ago, he told Demoff, "I will never be scared to make a move," and when the two drove to work together on the morning of the draft, he told Demoff, "Don't be scared today." That bravado would soon be tested.

    7:55 p.m. Rams Draft Center
    Thirty people in the 18-by-35-foot room—coaches, scouts, execs—waiting. The Browns, at No. 6, could have been a trade partner if their target, LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo, wasn't still available. But Mingo was there, and Cleveland pounced. Snead grabbed a land line and rang Buffalo to see if the deal was still on now that they'd agreed to add a seventh-rounder. It was, as long as Arizona, at No. 7, didn't pull the upset of the draft and steal Austin.

    7:59 p.m.
    Bill Consoli, the Rams' director of information systems, sat in the back of the room, connected by a headset with New York. "The Arizona Cardinals select ... Jonathan Cooper ... guard ... North Carolina."

    The room erupted in high fives and hugs, Fisher jumping up and pumping a fist. In back, the biggest smiles creased the faces of special teams coach John Fassel and receivers coach Ray Sherman. Demoff got NFL director of player personnel Joel Bussert on the phone to confirm the trade. "Joel, Kevin Demoff with the Rams.... Good, good.... The Rams send 16, 46, 78 and 222 to Buffalo for eight and 71. Got it? Have they called? Are we confirmed? ... Good. Bye."

    Austin was a Ram. Limping from hip replacement surgery, Sherman called out, "He's gonna get coached up, baby!" Someone shouted to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, "You got your home run hitter, Schotty!"

    Two large wall-mounted TVs tuned in to ESPN and the NFL Network began unspooling Austin's college highlights, and the room in St. Louis exploded: WoooopWooop!!!
    WoooooohHahahahaLookatthat!

    Assistant head coach Dave McGinnis sounded like a fan hollering from the cheap seats: "Do it, Tavon! Do it!" He clapped Sherman on the shoulder.
    "Perfect," McGinnis said. "That's the perfect player for us."
    Snead, meanwhile, was already aiming for the second one.

    9:05 p.m.
    "The next four picks are crucial," Snead said, huddling with Fisher and Demoff in their seats at the front of the room as linebacker Jarvis Jones went off the board to Pittsburgh at 17.
    The Rams sat at 22. They wanted Ogletree and were reasonably confident he'd be there. But they'd been talking with Houston at 27 and Atlanta at 30 about moving down to recoup some of what they'd given up to acquire Austin. Their fallback guy was UCLA defensive end Datone Jones, but if he and Ogletree were gone, they'd take Kentucky guard Larry Warford. As bravely as they spoke about Warford, though, picking him in the first round would amount to a big loss for the Rams.
    Demoff laid out the options. "We can go to 30 and get a three and a seven from Atlanta, or we can go to 27 and get a four and a six from Houston."
    "Or we can stay and just pick Ogletree," Snead chimed in.

    Fisher went for a walk and rubbed his lucky 1901 $20 gold coin, a gift from his grandmother years ago that he'd brought out at every draft.

    Snead, meanwhile, made a call. He and Ogletree share an agent, Pat Dye Jr., and at this moment Dye was sitting at a draft party in Atlanta with Ogletree and his family. Snead asked Dye what he'd heard. "You better not get cute," Dye replied, "or you'll lose him. If I'd said you could get Alec at 22 a month ago, you'd have kissed me on the mouth. Just take him!"
    The ***** traded up to 18 for LSU safety Eric Reid. The Giants took Syracuse tackle Justin Pugh. And then the Rams sweated out the linebacker-needy Bears. Consoli announced Oregon guard Kyle Long to Chicago, and the draft room went, Ooooooooooh.

    9:18 p.m.
    One of the biggest misconceptions outside of NFL draft rooms is that the people inside of draft rooms are omniscient, that they have a great feel for other teams' moves. The lone three-by-five-inch magnetic player card left on the top line of the Rams' board was Ogletree's, and all Snead, Fisher and Demoff had to go on now was a gut feeling that he had a chance to slip to No. 27 or 30. On the board Ogletree's card bore a yellow dot and sat slanted along the top line. "Yellow means caution," Snead said, and slanted meant there was still some doubt that he was a wise risk to take. Ogletree had a positive drug test (marijuana) and a DUI on his résumé. There was a chance he would slip.

    Consoli: "Cincinnati takes ... Tyler Eifert ... tight end ... Notre Dame. We're on the clock."
    Houston called to bow out. If the Rams wanted to trade, they had one option, Atlanta at 30. Snead rang Dimitroff. "T," he asked, "we still on?" The Falcons wanted a future seventh-rounder to clinch the deal, and the Rams had an extra one in 2015 from a trade with New England. Snead okayed it. Now the two teams, St. Louis and Atlanta, had to decide whether to go through with it.
    Consoli: "Eight minutes."

    Fisher massaged his 1901 coin. The Falcons were thinking. And thinking.
    "Time?" Fisher asked.
    Consoli: "Five minutes."
    The phone rang. The Ravens, at No. 32, were feeling out the Rams about moving up if St. Louis traded down. Call you back. There was a palpable but unspoken sense in the room. Take Ogletree here. Don't risk the trade. We can handle him! We handled Janoris Jenkins!
    Fisher and Snead exchanged a look—they agreed that waiting was a gamble worth taking—but amazingly said nothing. Two days earlier they'd decided that if they got this far, like Thelma and Louise they were going off the cliff. Snead dialed Dimitroff's cell. "T, it's yours. Who you taking?" A pause and he hung up.

    Snead, to the room: "Atlanta ... Desmond Trufant."
    Fisher: "We got 30."

    Demoff called in the trade. This time there was no cheering.
    "We'll get one of our guys," Fisher said, working the gold coin, "or we'll trade again."
    "Now," Snead said, "Alec's sitting in Pat Dye's living room, and he'll see us trade down. And if we pick him, he'll come in with a massive chip on his shoulder."

    9:43 p.m.
    There were seven selections to go—Minnesota, Indianapolis, Minnesota again, Green Bay, Houston, Denver and, lastly, New England.
    The Ravens called back offering a fifth-rounder to switch spots from 32 to 30. Dallas owned the 31st pick, and Snead asked his pro personnel czar, Ran Carthon, to run down the Cowboys' linebackers to see if they were a threat for Ogletree. Meanwhile, Demoff worked the phone, "scenario-shopping" with teams positioned high in round 2. "You have any interest in coming up to 30?" he asked Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman, preparing to trade if Ogletree was off the board at 30.
    Sharrif Floyd to the Vikes. Bjoern Werner to the Colts. Xavier Rhodes to the Vikes.
    Consoli: "Green Bay takes ... Datone Jones ... defensive end ... UCLA." Then silence. Fisher, speechless, stood up and stared at the board, still working the 112-year-old gold piece. Wasn't that supposed to be a lucky coin? Now it was Ogletree at 30 or bust. Oh, the Rams would talk bravely about what a good player Larry Warford is—but convincing their own defensive coaches would be much tougher.

    "Want me to offer Houston a [sixth-round pick] to move down to us?" Demoff asked. Fisher grabbed the phone instead and dialed Texans G.M. Rick Smith, who was on the clock.
    "Hey, you staying?" he asked. "Would you go to us for 198 [the Rams' sixth-rounder]?"
    Evidently not. Fisher, off the phone, told Snead, "They want 113." No way the Rams were giving up a fourth-rounder to climb three spots. Minutes passed.
    Consoli: "Houston takes ... DeAndre Hopkins ... receiver ... Clemson."
    The Broncos on the clock at 28. "Ran, give me Denver's linebackers," Snead called out, and Carthon went into detail about players and contracts. Snead got on the phone. Whom he called, he wouldn't say, but with five minutes left he huddled with Fisher and Demoff. Quietly, he said, "Denver's deciding between," and he wrote in pencil on a Post-it: LACY WILLIAMS OGLETREE.
    Alabama running back Eddie Lacy. North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. And Alec Ogletree. "They just signed Wesley Woodyard to play [weakside linebacker]," Snead said. "I can't see them taking Ogletree."
    "But," one scout said, "Ogletree was in Denver on the last day for visits." No one else spoke.

    10:13 p.m.
    Consoli: "Denver takes Sylvester Williams ... defensive tackle ... North Carolina."
    Cheers—but not wild ones—and the first smile from Fisher in two hours. He tossed the coin on the table. "I bring it out once a year for the draft," he said. "For luck. Maybe.... " Demoff held his fist out for a bump, but Fisher shook his head. Not yet. Not yet.
    Another call: Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman ringing Demoff, and the conversation went quickly before Demoff hung up. "They'll give us their two, three and four for 30," he said.
    Snead: "No, no...."
    Fisher: "No more screwing around now."
    Two, three, four minutes passed. The 29th pick, New England's, was being auctioned.
    Consoli: "Minnesota has traded into this pick."
    "Gotta be Manti Te'o," said Snead.
    Nope. A minute passed. Then two. Consoli: "Minnesota takes ... Cordarrelle Patterson...." The rest of it, you couldn't hear. There was too much screaming.

    10:22 p.m.
    "Frank Bush!" Fisher yelled to his linebackers coach. "Go straighten Ogletree's card out!" A beaming Bush walked to the board and adjusted Ogletree's card to an ovation. "Man," he said, "that's good stuff. I've been waiting two weeks to straighten that card!"
    "Let's call him," Fisher said, and he and Snead phoned Ogletree. "Coach Fisher here, Alec," he announced, then waited for the cheering on the other end to die down. "It's O.K., Alec. It's O.K. to be excited."

    "Turn in the pick, Bill," Snead told Consoli. "Turn in, Alec Ogletree ... linebacker ... Georgia."

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