Monday, August 10, 2009

The Case for Kevin Ogletree

It is looking more and more like Kevin Ogletree is winning the battle for the #5 receiver spot on the final roster. There is still a long way to go and the preseason games will probably be the deciding factor in the competition. From what I have seen in person and from what the media and coaches are saying, it is Ogletree's job to lose.

So who is this guy? He is an undrafted free agent out of Virginia. He is listed as 6"0" and 196 pounds. Certainly not big, but not a small receiver either. The stat that catches my eye is his 4.30 40 time at the NFL combine (his official time was 4.36). He had ACL surgery on his knee in March of 2007. He came back to have a solid junior season. He entered the draft early even though he could have improved his draft stock with a good senior season. He was actually projected as a 4th round pick so the Cowboys got a steal when they signed him as an undrafted free agent. He graduated with his sociology degree a semester early.

What could be happening here is that we are seeing the usual progression following an ACL surgery. Most guys return to the field within a year but usually take two years to regain their speed and explosiveness. The Cowboys had nothing to lose by giving him a shot and it appears he is making the most of his opportunity. The fact that he went undrafted is probably adding some fuel to his fire because he clearly has some skills as a receiver. His ability to return punts is helping his cause even more.

I like Ogletree as the #5 receiver for several reasons. First of all, he has the best speed out of all of the guys he is fighting for the spot. He can return punts which is a major plus since the Cowboys don't have a true punt returner on the team. He is on the still improving as a receiver since he is so young. I think it will come down to Jesse Holley, Isaiah Stanback and Ogletree for the 5th receiver spot but Ogletree wins it based on receiving skills, health, and his ability to return punts.

Update: Apparently Ogletree is no longer in the mix as a punt returner. I'm not quite sure why that is the case but he'll have to make the team primarily on his receiving skills.

5 comments:

  1. From what I've read, he's been making lots of plays. It should be interesting how Stanback responds.
    Has Olgetree been practicing as a punt returner? I don't recall off the top of my head weather he was one of those guys back there for that.

    I don't think Holley has a shot at that spot.

    Either way, if we are relying on a big contribution from out #5 receiver (other than ST), something bad has happened.

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  2. The only reason you can't keep six is carrying 3 QBs. McGee seems completely out of his depth--no problem, he's a project--but there is no reason he can't be a project on the practice squad. No team's going to sign a check-down rookie QB to their active roster.

    I like Olgetree, and if he performs in preseason like he has in camp, he's a no-brainer. Would hate to lose Stanback though. Not sure he's slower than KO. He was PAC10 100m finalist, and football fast on the field. Saw him play a few games at WU. He was the only weapon the Hukies had, and opponents still couldn't stop him. Scary athlete. And yeah, he's had injuries. But so did Jimmy Smith. And he went on to have a decade of 1000+ seasons. For the Jags.

    McGee to PS. Keep six if Stanback makes it thru preseason healthy.

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  3. McGee on the practice squad isn't a realistic possibility. We couldn't even hide an undrafted on the practice squad last year. There's no chance we'll put a 4th rd. QB on it.

    I do love WR's though, about as much as Gruden likes QBs. I'd like to see Ogletree make it. He's got all the tangibles and all the intangibles you want in a guy. I'm sick of all the injuries at WR. We must be doing something wrong. Seriously.

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  4. I just read on DallasCowboys.com that Ogletree doesn't seem to be in the mix as a punt returner. I find that to be a little strange considering the other options. I saw him fielding some punts when I was at training camp. Maybe he'll get a shot at some point but it looks like they are looking at other guys for that right now.

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