Our sister site, NFLmocks.com, has just released their latest NFL Mock Draft predictions for 2014. And in it, they have the Dallas Cowboys filling-in a vital missing piece for the Monte Kiffin defense. With the loss of All-Pro Jay Ratliff earlier this season and Jason Hatcher being in the final contract year with Dallas, the defensive tackle position appears to be a major need for the Cowboys going into 2014. Here’s what Erik Lambert of NFL Mocks had to say about the Cowboys’ projected first round pick:
#20 – Dallas Cowboys – Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota
“Like the Bears, beefing up the defensive line is a major must for the Dallas Cowboys. Ra’Shede Hageman is the next option at tackle and some might say is the better one given his ridiculous athleticism. However, there are maturity issues that could become a problem and he’s also not polished as a pass rusher. With that said, the Cowboys have an excellent defensive line coach in Rod Marinelli who would immediately take advantage of the many things Hageman can do, giving the Cowboys one of the critical pieces they will need to make the Monte Kiffin defense work properly.”
Walter Football ranks Hageman as the second best defensive tackle in the upcoming draft. Here’s their latest scouting report on the senior out of Minnesota:
“11/16/13: Thus far in 2013, Hageman has 29 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, one interception and two sacks. The senior has seen his share of double-teams this season, but he needs to become more consistent. There are times where Hageman looks unblockable with power and explosion. He has pass-rush ability and can take over games.”
I’m not sure a defensive tackle this early in the draft is the best choice. It is rare to hear of a first round defensive tackle selection who actually lives up to the hype. Dallas has found a diamond in the rough with free agent Nick Hayden. And I fully expect the team to re-sign Hatcher, if at all possible. I believe the Cowboys would be better suited drafting a safety, outside linebacker, or offensive guard in the first round over a defensive tackle.
You can see the rest of the first round mock by Erik here: http://nflmocks.com/2013/11/25/updated-2014-nfl-draft-mock-picks-11-21-pittsburgh-gambles/