Out of the University of Minnesota, Ra’Shede Hageman has been one of the most talked about (and biggest) defensive lineman in this draft. As a red shirt senior, Hageman has the experience and technique that many lineman just don’t have in this draft. What Hageman’s career as a Golden Gopher has showed us is that he has truly developed as a defensive presence. In his first three seasons at Minnesota, Hageman recorded 53 combined tackles, 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Although Minnesota was never really considered a top contender for the BCS National Championship, Hageman still proved to us that he had what it took to play against premiere talent such as the Big 10. This concept was none more evident than in his senior season at U of M as the 6’6″, 318-pound Hageman recorded 13.0 tackles for loss, 38 total tackles and two punt blocks. This past season for the Gophers, Hageman showed the nation that he can combine size and strength into a universal defensive prowess. He is a big man at 6’6″ and can definitely punish interior lineman of the NFL with his brute force and ability to drive back offensive tackles. Although many may say that Hageman isn’t as fast as NFL Scouts would like, I believe that with his raw size and pass-rushing technique, he is as valuable as any defensive tackle in this draft. At the Senior Bowl, the college and NFL world took notice of Hageman and his ability to drive back defenders into the backfield and his capacity to play not only in a 4- 3 defense, but also in a 3-4 defensive scheme. While Hageman wasn’t as flashy and lightning quick as DE Aaron Donald, he still was able to impress with his size and length over offensive lineman. Hageman would fit perfectly (if the Cards pick him) to play right at the defensive tackle position where Dan Williams played for the majority of 2013.
Film Overview (with help from draftbreakdown.com)
Vs. Syracuse Orange-Texas Bowl
Observations: When looking at the game tape from Hageman’s last game as a Minnesota Golden Gopher, you can obviously see Hageman’s patented bull-rush technique work in certain occasions. Because of Hageman’s presence in the middle of the field, runners are forced to go to the outside many of times and get stopped for minimal gain. For example on a 3rd-and-six play in the first quarter, Hageman was able to use a move to the right of the offensive tackle, burst ahead and force the Syracuse QB to throw prematurely. Although the play resulted in a first down, the lesson here is that Hageman has the aptitude to go inside and use a variety of moves to get to the QB. Another interesting note is that throughout the game Hageman is found lining up at different positions at the line of scrimmage, showing that versatility that many pro teams will be looking for in a defensive lineman. On a 3rd-and-seven play late in the 2nd quarter, I noticed that Hageman was able to literally use his muscular force to literally plow over an offensive lineman. As well, during that same drive, Hageman moved to the inside of a blocker, dodged another blocker and was still able to take down the ball carrier for a big loss. After scrambling away from a block, Hageman was able to use his speed in order to catch the Syracuse QB from behind late in the 3rd quarter. Even though the QB did get the first down, it just goes to show the hustle of Hageman even when shut down once by the offensive lineman. I would have to say from looking at this game that the biggest play from the tall and powerful defensive lineman was at 5:45 in the 4th quarter on a 1st-and-ten play. Hageman was able to burst through the Syracuse line, overcome a persisting block from an Orange lineman and still be able to tackle the ball carrier for a three yard loss. Overall it was a solid game for Hageman, not a truly amazing game, but he was still a presence in that he made some big plays and was able to showcase his talent during his last NCAA bowl game.