Aug 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Ra

Ra’Shede Hageman: A Familiar Prospect

Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman is considered one of the top defensive tackle prospects in the upcoming NFL draft. He’s considered a first round talent, and a prospect that the Cowboys should keep an eye on.  Hageman is an exciting prospect, mainly because of his size and build. Standing at 6’6, 311 lb, Hageman has a tall and built figure. For a defensive tackle, he looks leaner because of his height. Because of his figure, Hageman displays great feats of athleticism at the defensive tackle position. This gives him versatility to move along the defensive line. He can play the 3-technique, the 1-technique, and the 5-technique. At Minnesota, he even played some snaps at LE in the 4-3. Hageman’s size gives him a ton of versatility on the D-Line. His size also reminds me of a player that he could potentially be replacing, Jason Hatcher. Hatcher is the same height as Hageman at 6’6, but is a bit lighter at 299 lb. Hageman certainly has the size to replace Hatcher, but what about his ability?

Hageman has great size and versatility, which makes him a good fit for any team. At the combine he recorded an impressive bench press with 32. This is amazing considering how long his arms are as well. This strength really shows up in the tape. He has a good push while pass rushing and can stand his ground while defending the run. Hageman also has a good burst. I wouldn’t call it elite, but it definitely helps his game. He uses this strength and burst to penetrate the pocket. Hageman has shown a good combination of size, strength, and explosiveness. His speed isn’t bad as well and he’s shown some agility too, but what really impresses me is his flexibility. Flexibility isn’t really examined when looking at a football player, but in the film Hageman uses it often. It looks like he’s almost contorting his body to get in the gaps.  With his long figure, this flexibility makes him a lot harder to block. Athletically, Hageman is a great prospect and doesn’t show many weaknesses.

Hageman has shown impressive physical traits, he still has some refining to go through. Hageman is an inconsistent pass rusher. There are times when he impresses me greatly and gets in the back field to pressure the quarterback. But, there are also times where he makes no impact at all. The biggest issue is that Hageman plays too high. When you are that tall, it’s not surprising. Hageman also has a limited amount of pass rushing moves. He has an amazing swim, but not much else outside of that. I would love to see him develop a bull rush. These issues can be easily fixed though by some good coaching, and I believe Hageman can develop into a player like Jason Hatcher.

Hageman will be the perfect replacement for Hatcher. Physically he is almost identical to Hatcher. Like Hatcher, Hageman will probably need a bit of time to development. Though I think Hageman can come to the Cowboys and be an instant starter. I don’t think he’ll make a huge impact right away, but he’ll show some flashes.  In a few years, Hageman can be a player that will fill in the shoes of Hatcher perfectly.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Defensive Line Jason Hatcher

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