Want a linebacker: Got a Linebacker: Welcome Alec Ogletree
by Michael J. Basile @MdoubleJB
The Giants have needed an impact linebacker for a long time. Last week the Giants took steps to change that narrative by trading for some attitude. Linebacker Alec Ogletree will wear blue.
Let’s take a look at the impact on the field the newest Giants linebacker will have. Forstarters the Giants took advantage of the Rams salary cap restrictions. This trade brings in the best linebacker possible for a franchise that longs for Antonio Pierce. Since AP, the closest thing the Giants have had to a game-changing player at the position would be Michael Boley and he played outside linebacker.
Former GM Jerry Reese neglected the position for years, and instead of restocking the position, he drafted defensive linemen and bad corner backs to compensate.
Ogletree will add athleticism and speed to new Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 base scheme. The way he plays will fit in nicely combined with these plans to restore the pass rush:
Ogletree is today’s type of linebacker. He is the kind of player that covers a lot of ground, tracks down ball carriers, covers in space, and relies on his athletic ability. His draft profile speaks to how well he moves for the position. He started in college as a safety, then grew into his frame and was moved to ILB at Georgia. Many Giants fans remember him for flattening Odell Beckham JR out-of-bounds a few years back.
At 26 years old with a change of scenery, he could take his game to the next level.
His impact will be felt immediately. Vernon and JPP could be used more in pass rushing scenarios from the OLB or ILB and DE spots; Ogletree and (maybe BJ Goodson) can focus on roaming with more coverage responsibilities in the middle of the field.
Snacks Harrison does his thing up front, with Tomlinson rotating, playing alongside Snacks in a 3 man front. Ogletree’s presence and ability to cover a speedy TE will free up Bettcher to be more creative with the corners and safeties. Landon Collins won’t have to cover tight ends all the time, and with Ogletree in front of him Collins is set up to return to his 2016 form when he was a candidate for defensive player of the year. The impact will be felt through all levels of the defense.
The Giants gave up a compensatory 4th rounder and a 6th rounder for a guy that was drafted in the first round just 4 years ago. This is a major upgrade at a position. Alex Ogletree has a chance to be the best Giants LB in a decade.