Dakota Allen isn’t the only Last Chance U star to make it to the NFL. Ronald Ollie is going to get a shot to impress Jon Gruden with the Raiders.
Not many Nicholls State alumni enter the NFL as household names. Ronald Ollie might be a little different. His stint on the popular Netflix series Last Chance U makes him a high-profile player as he attempts to make it as a professional football player.
Fortunately for Ollie, Jon Gruden and the Raiders are ready to give him an opportunity. He wasn’t able to convince an NFL franchise to spend a draft pick on him, but the 6-foot-2, 292-pound defensive lineman signed a free agent deal with Oakland on Tuesday. He faces an uphill climb to make the Raiders roster for Week 1, but he does have the athleticism required to compete against NFL offensive lineman.
Ollie reportedly ran a sub-4.90 40-yard dash during his pre-draft workouts. That’s an excellent time for a player with the size to play defensive tackle. The Raiders, of course, are not exactly full of talent along their defensive line. General manager Mike Mayock surprised a lot of people by selecting Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, but he should slot in as an immediate starter at defensive end.
The Raiders also added defensive linemen Maxx Crosby and Quinton Bell later in the draft, but neither guy projects as someone who will thrive inside. The lack of rookie defensive tackles in Oakland should give Ollie an opportunity to earn meaningful reps during the team’s preseason workouts. Still, Ollie should be considered to be a major long shot to make the team’s Week 1 roster.
The biggest reason Ollie wasn’t drafted is that he wasn’t all that productive during his college career. He only managed 33 tackles for Nicholls State last season despite facing pretty mediocre competition. His 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks show that he’s capable of being a disruptive player, but he’ll need to improve his consistency if he wants to make an impact in the NFL.
Ollie isn’t the only Last Chance U with a chance to play in the NFL as a rookie. Dakota Allen parlayed his year at East Mississippi Junior College into a chance to return to Texas Tech. His play with the Red Raiders was enough to convince the Rams to spend the No. 251 pick to bring him to Los Angeles. He’ll have the better chance to stick in the NFL due to how much the Rams have invested in him.
The odds are stacked against Ollie, but he’s come a long way since fans watched him on Last Chance U. Time will tell if he can transition his personal story from a co-starring role on a Netflix documentary to becoming the leading man in his own Cinderella story.
Last Chance U season 4 will premiere on Netflix later this summer.