From his days on Last Chance U, Ronlad Ollie captivated audience with his approach to life. Now, he has a chance to live his NFL dream. With that said, where his legitimate chances reside. To answer, FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs discuss his prospects.
If there is an undrafted free agent who has the moxie and the desire to make an NFL 53-man roster, it’s Ollie. The “Last Chance U” star has the requisite size (6-foot-2, 310 pounds) and is like a dancing bear with how nimble and quick he is (he ran a 4.99 40-yard dash and recorded a 35-inch vertical leap at his pro day).
Ollie’s fought through adversity at the JUCO and collegiate level and even had an UDFA contract with the Baltimore Ravens before the team pulled it. He’s hungry and eager to prove he belongs.
Ollie is a classic long shot, yet, his chances of making the opening-day roster is legitimate because that’s how porous the Oakland Raiders defensive line depth is. For a team that desperately needs to vastly improve the run defense and pass rush, Ollie can further make noise and an impression on coaches. That’s how he landed a contract with Oakland — impressing at rookie camp after getting the invite.
If he can continue to show he’s as quick and disruptive as his testing numbers indicate — and gain the ever-important consistency — Ollie will have a puncher’s chance of making the 53.
Climbing past the current depth at the defensive tackle position, however, is going to be tough. Veterans Justin Ellis and Johnathan Hankins combine with youngsters Maurice Hurst and PJ Hall. Moreover, you’ve got Eddie Vanderdoes there too.
Perhaps a slide over to strong side defensive end would work best for Ollie as he can mimic the Frostee Rucker role.
First, Ollie arriving to this point deserves celebration. However, earning a camp spot remains the stepping stone to something more. Under those circumstances, Ollie will fight for a roster spot. If you look at his skillset, in totality, Ollie should find himself in the rotation. Ollie’s size could see him slide in as a three-technique defensive tackle for the Raiders. Similarly, his speed and agility could see him slide to the outside at end. More importantly, that versatility makes an end or tackle that can only play one spot vulnerable to a cutdown.