We are well on our way to breaking down as many players as possible leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft. Several of these players that we are scouting are potentially fits for the Pittsburgh Steelers and we hope you enjoy these profiles.
Today, we’ll discuss Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.
Ra’Shede Hageman/DT Minnesota: 6’6 311
– Impressive build
– Disengages with long arms
– Great leg power
– Gets up to speed quickly
– Brings feet when tackling
– 24 in August
– Played mostly 1 and 3 technique defensive tackle
– Inconsistent effort
– Inconsistent hand placement
– Inconsistent pad level
– Never asked to drop
– 2013 ALL-Big Ten First Team (Coaches)
– 2013 ALL-Big Ten First Team (Media)
– Bronko Nagurski Award
– Overcame troubled childhood
When you look at the measurables and build of Hageman, you can’t help but be impressed. He is athletic and gets up the field in the hurry. In addition, he is not a lumberer as he can move sideline to sideline when he wants to.
Hageman mostly played the 1 and 3-technique at Minnesota, so if he is drafted by a 3-4 defensive team to play defensive end, he will have to learn all of the nuances of the 5-technique and how to hold the point of attack effectively. He mostly one gapped at Minnesota, but has shown that he can two-gap. He is, however, inconsistent at anchoring against double teams.
Here is a look at Hageman when he really has his motor running. This is of course against the read option and the left guard has no shot at turning him. He not slips past him, he also fights past the running back quick enough to take down the quarterback.
While it might be hard to see in this clip, Hageman uses his long arms to disengage from the left guard. He quickly finds the ball carrier and is in on the tackle.
More quickness on display here from the left end. The left tackle has no chance at cutting him off to the B-gap on this play and as a result he gets a hit on the quarterback.
Hageman does have the tendency to come off too high at times and he pays for it here in this clip as the left guard gets into his chest which allows the center to come off the combo block easily and get to the second level. Leverage is everything and Hageman needs to come off low more consistently and get his arms up.
Here is another instance of him allowing hands inside of him and he gets pushed way off of the line as a result.
You will see Hageman not give 100% in chase at times and in the clip below he is pretty much at half speed.
Here he is using that size to block a field goal attempt.
Hageman is a grown-ass man for sure with a ton of power. He seems to run hot and cold at times in the games that I watched and I was surprised to see that he only had two sacks in 2013. For a big guy he is very athletic and you can tell that he was recruited originally to be a tight end. He should put on a show at the NFL combine based on some of measurables and times that already floating around on him.
Hageman had a rough upbringing and if you haven’t already read his back story, I highly suggest doing so. He seems to have matured and gotten past a bumpy part of his life and that includes his early college years. He will be very open about his past at the combine and ought to impress with his story.
Hageman shows all of the technical flaws that you would expect to see from a college defensive tackle that has the length that he does. He has to use those long arms of his more consistently and his hand usage really needs some work. Some of the competition that he faced he really should have dominated more in my opinion. That being said, he really can push the pocket when he wants to. More than anything else, he’s just inconsistent.
If the Steelers were to draft Hageman, they would have to do so in the first round if he falls to 15. Keep in mind that he will turn 24 before the season even starts and knowing that he likely will spend a year being broken down and put together again by defensive line coach John Mitchell, as he learns to play the 5-techinque in addition to straightening out his 3-technique deficiencies, that would mean he would be 25 before ever getting snaps as a starter.
As long as he doesn’t flop at the combine and there’s no reason to believe that he will, Hageman will also be attractive to 4-3 teams as a penetrating one-gap defensive tackle. For all of the flaws that might have, they are very fixable and as long as he dedicates himself at the next level, he figures to a very productive defensive player.
Projection: Top Twenty-Five
Games Watched: vs. UNLV, vs. Western Illinois, vs. Syracuse (Bowl)