When it comes to DE there is entirely too much talk going on about the best player in the position and maybe even the entire class, Jadeveon Clowney. All this attention has drawn eyes away from the rest of the position class, particularly a standout player like Ra’Shede Hageman.
In any other year, he would be a highly-celebrated player. Should he fall to the Ravens in this year’s draft, he could prove to be a great addition to the team’s D-line.
Arthur Jones was an invaluable piece of the Ravens’ defense and with him gone, Hageman will fill the void. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound former Minnesota player has a long athletic frame and uses that size to power through smaller O-linemen. He has an explosive first step that gives him a ground advantage early after the snap.
The way Hageman gets his hands up has drawn comparisons to J.J. Watt. He has the physicality, long arms and slim waist that will draw plenty of attention in the early rounds.
Fitting him on the line next to Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty would instantly make the line bigger. Ozzie Newsome has done his homework on him and even met with him at the Combine, according to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson.
I did see areas for improvement for the young prospect. He aims high when he tackles because of his size, which resulted in more than a few horse-collar tackles that may have not been called at the college level, will result in plenty of laundry on the field if he does not change his technique.
Playing with a high pad level will leave his chest exposed. Hageman’s bull rushing strength is also his weakness. At the next level, the O-lines are smarter and bigger; if he plans to stay a starter in Baltimore, he will need to work on other techniques. One-trick ponies don’t make it long in this league.
With that said, not many college players are perfect upon being drafted. Look for Hageman to be taken in the back end of the first round or early in the second round of this year’s Draft. Hopefully the Ravens can snag him at the right spot.