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2014 Falcons Draft Profiles: Ra'Shede Hageman

The Falcoholic looks at how 2nd round DT/DE Ra'Shede Hageman will fit into the Atlanta Falcons plans for the future.

Hageman never looks happy.
Hageman never looks happy.

Hageman's draft profile

The 6-foot-6, 310-pounds prospect is not the typical Thomas Dimitroff selection. Hageman was arrested for getting into a bar fight before charges were later dropped. Hageman showed inconsistency in college and admittedly had problems with motivation. He was later suspended for four games for academic issues.

The Falcons got a close look at Hageman when coaching the Senior Bowl and the Falcons made the leap as a player with high potential.

If you like videos of big guys making plays, this draft profile can help you out.

The big guy was 4th overall among the defensive line in the bench press and moved OK for a big guy with a 5.02 40 time. However, his explosiveness was on display with his 7th best vertical at the combine. Hageman is a former basketball player who was recruited to Minnesota as a tight end. Hageman redshirted for his first year then was moved to the defensive line.

If you can't do math on your hands, Hageman played along the defensive line for only three years in college.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman had this to say about Hageman, predraft:

"You can tell the quickness. You can tell the athletic skill set, the size – everything is there," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said Monday. "… At times, he just took over games."

Hageman showed his upside in his senior year, putting up 13 tackles for a loss and two sacks and eight batted passes from the nose tackle position, along with a blocked field goal and a blocked extra point.

SBN's own Bleeding Green Nation succinctly broke down Atlanta's newest defensive lineman strengths and weaknesses.

[Strengths] Hageman is absolutely, completely ginormous. Big and long, Hagemen is physically imposing and at times, looks dominant. He has the ability to run over linemen and commands double teams frequently. He is good at getting his arms up for batted passes. He can also get penetration. Hageman is the definition of scheme versatile as he can play all four spots in an even front and each of the three positions on 3-4 line. Minnesota used him at the three and nine techniques, which he showed promise at both.

[Weaknesses] Like most giant athletes, Hageman lacks bend and can appear stiff. He can get taken out of plays and has issues recognizing plays. He gets lost during both run and pass plays at times and is an inconsistent force as a pass rusher. The main issue with Hageman is that he is not dominant against inferior talent. In games against Syracuse and Western Illinois, he is not that impresses and barely sticks out on tape. He is not a special run defender.

Hageman is probably the biggest boom-or-bust type of player Thomas Dimitroff has ever drafted, but one has to imagine that Bryan Cox, who worked specifically with Hageman at the Senior Bowl, made a hard push for the defensive lineman.

Where will he play

Hageman provides some very interesting options for his versatility along the defensive line. Seriously, how many times have you ever heard this:

The most interesting part of the day was watching [Jake Matthews] work in drills against second-round pick Ra'Shede Hageman, the defensive end/nose tackle from Minnesota.

Is this real life? There are only a few guys in the league who has the size and strength to play nose in a 4-3 front then flex out to end in a 3-4. Vaughn McClure of ESPN continued.

[Hageman] lined up primarily at left defensive end in the 3-4 look. His explosiveness was evident in individual drills.

If you wonder why a need-based drafting team like the Atlanta Falcons took Hageman, it is because he is a seriously gifted athlete that has potential exponentially greater than Peria Jerry in his rookie season. Hageman is a guy who could play all three downs in any defensive front but looks to have to battle for meaningful reps behind Atlanta's surprising defensive line depth.

Smitty likes Hageman's ability to do just about anything.

"Ra'Shede is a big man, knocks a lot of balls down, pushes the pocket, he shows athleticism to make people miss," Smith said. "It is important to have push. I say it all the time, sometime sack numbers are overrated. It is about making the quarterback uncomfortable."

The Falcons have tried to get by playing Drew Brees and Cam Newton twice a year by ignoring the high-upside players and seemingly hoping to scheme their way into slowing down elite players. Obviously, it hasn't worked, but Hageman is an addition that adds some serious versatility to the defensive line and the huge size and explosiveness to disrupt an offense. He has the strength to push the pocket against Brees but has the size and explosiveness to sack Newton.

If Atlanta was soft along the defensive line in 2013, Hageman should help turn that around.