INDIANAPOLIS -- When former Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Alec Ogletree stepped up to the podium at the 2013 NFL Combine to address the media on Saturday, it wasn't a surprise that the majority of the questions he was going to answer revolved around being charged with a DUI just a couple of weeks before the biggest job interview of his life.
Ogletree's agent, Pat Dye Jr., told the media shortly after Ogletree's DUI charge that the linebacker regretted his actions and was sorry. Those were basically the same things Ogletree said while at the podium on Saturday.
"I'm a good person at heart," Ogletree said. "Everybody makes mistakes. I feel really bad about the situation. I'm learning from it and I'm moving forward."
Ogletree has been labeled as one of the top inside linebackers in the 2013 draft class and has been projected in the last few months as a first-round pick. However, being charged with a DUI just two weeks before the Combine could easily effect his draft stock, causing him to fall out of the first.
"I don't know what it's going to do," he said, referring to how it will affect where he's taken. "I feel bad about it and I'm really sorry about it, but I just have to move forward and just take whatever I get."
Players who had made mistakes and broken the law aren't rare when it comes to the NFL Combine and while a player's questionable decisions can easily hurt their draft stock, it isn't always the case. When it really comes down to it, NFL teams will select players they know will help them win on the field. Ogletree's capacity to play both inside and outside linebacker, and his ability to add speed to a team's front seven, could offset his DUI.
"I like to play sideline to sideline," Ogletree said. "I try to use my speed to my advantage. When I can strike somebody I try to do that."
Ogletree stated that, due to his speed, he can be effective both against a pocket passer and against the several mobile quarterbacks that have taken the league by storm over the past couple of seasons. It's unclear whether or not the read-option and the pistol offenses are passing fads like the wildcat was, but what is clear is that guys like Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III aren't going away. A new kind of quarterback will require defensive coordinators to find a new way to defend against them. Ogletree's speed at the linebacker position could be a part of the solution for a defense in 2013.
Due to the fact that Ogletree has been in trouble with the Bulldogs before the DUI, the first thing he needs to do is clear the air and let coaches, scouts and other team personnel know that the DUI was a one-time mistake and not one of many bad decisions that will continue into the future.
He hopes that his one-on-one time with several teams at the combine will help.
"Just by having a good interview," he said in response to a question on how he can help change opinions of him. "Letting them get to know who I really am and not what they hear about me."