|Class:||RS Senior||40 time:||4.82|
There’s a lot of things you can teach a football player, but athleticism isn’t one of them. And the thing with the NFL is, it’s pretty much a prerequisite for the job. Everyone at the NFL level is an outstanding athlete. So when you see a freak athlete (ie. someone that makes really good athletes look like you and I), you can’t help but notice.
There will be some rare athletes that will be in the 2014 NFL Draft. Some are nationally-recognized players like South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, while others, like Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, are a little more under the radar.
Hageman may not be on Clowney’s once-in-a-generation-type athleticism level, but make no mistake, he’s got rare athleticism. The thing is? He hasn’t even scratched the surface of his immense potential.
- As stated above, Hageman is a rare athlete, especially when you consider his size at 6-foot-6, 311 pounds. Reportedly can do a 360 degree dunk on the hardwood while also testing out with an astonishing 36-inch vertical leap.
- Plays with a good motor. Always plays to the whistle and rarely gives up on a play.
- Elite explosion off the ball. His vertical leap is evidence of his outstanding explosion from a stationary position.
- Excellent speed for the position. Reported 4.8 40-yard dash with a remarkable 1.57 10-yard split.
- Very good upper body strength with a reported 465-pound bench press. Has a formidable bull-rush.
- Has very long arms and uses them well getting good extension.
- Can penetrate upfield and make plays in the backfield.
- Has good lateral quickness along the line of scrimmage. Good awareness, does a good job tracking ball carrier.
- Very strong against the run when he plays with a good pad level. Can get stood up otherwise.
- Versatility extends to making plays on special teams blocking kicks.
- Has experience playing a 0, 1, 3 and 5-techniques. Can play in multiple defensive fronts and offers elite versatility.
- Does a good job of splitting double teams.
- Has shown he can put on weight and still retain elite speed and quickness. Came to college as a 250-pound tight end.
- Still very raw. Was recruited to play tight end and has only been playing defensive line for a few years.
- Not consistently sound technically.
- Is a good pass rusher but has a small arsenal of rush moves. Too often tries to rely on his elite athleticism to win one-on-one battles.
- Needs to do a better job using violent hands. Too often just tries to push and pull without properly shedding.
- Needs to develop a legitimate counter-move both inside and outside to complement his scheme-friendly skill set.
- Can be driven off the ball sometimes by a quick center or guard.
- Way too susceptible to cut-blocks.
- Too often stops driving his legs against the run and relies on upper body strength.
- Needs to play with a better pad level overall. Many players his height have this problem, but it can be remedied through diligence.
2013 Season Outlook
Hageman has been a very good player on a very mediocre defense in recent years, and this year will be no different. He’s done a good job of improving each year and very well could surpass last year’s six sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss.
Will he make first team All-American this year? Maybe, but his production isn’t the reason why scouts are salivating over him. It’s his elite athleticism that makes him such an intriguing prospect, and he has an excellent chance to further impress scouts this fall and potentially at the Senior Bowl.
As a prospect, you just have to love this guy. Really, he can fit any defense. For teams running a 4-3, Hageman could play a 1-shade, but could be special as a 3-tech. For teams running an odd front, he has a chance to be a terrific 5-tech end. I compare him favorably at this stage of the game to former Georiga stud defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had a similar size and skill set, and became a Hall of Fame 5-tech end with the New England Patriots.
Draft Projection: Right now, late first round, but could move up quickly after testing.