Update: According to reports on twitter, the Falcons are planning to use Hageman as a defensive end, rather than his college position of defensive tackle. He’s a unique athlete, so it could certainly work out:
Falcons said Hageman will be listed as a defensive end.
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) May 9, 2014
— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) May 9, 2014
With the 37th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons picked up Ra’Shede Hageman, a defensive tackle from Minnesota.
This move is pretty surprising seeing that most assumed the Falcons would be going for a defensive end or an outside linebacker with this pick, but the Falcons have had success with unexpected picks in the past. Hageman is a 6-6, 310 pound player with a background in basketball and who was also a converted tight end
Last year in the second round Thomas Dimitroff took a bit of a gamble by “reaching” for cornerback Robert Alford, but it turned out to be widely successful with Alford having a good year for the dirty birds in 2013.
Here are Hageman’s strengths and weaknesses according to CBSSports:
Long and well-proportioned. Intriguing height-weight-speed ratio and natural athleticism. Flashes the ability explode off the ball, jolt blockers and disrupt the backfield. Terrific movement, flexibility and range. Loose ankles. Can work the edges. Able to redirect and chase athletically. Fierce tackler. Workout all-star with rare leaping ability for his size (35 1/2-inch vertical) — bench-pressed 225 pounds 32 times at the combine. Disrupts passing lanes. Has a “wow” factor at his best. Has immense upside.
Wide gap between physical ability and performance on tape. Green eyes, instincts and understanding of blocking schemes. Motor idles. Too often lets his pads rise and exposes his frame. Does not play to his length. On skates vs. double teams. Hand use needs work. Unsophisticated counters and pass-rush moves. Aimless pass rusher in need of a plan. Minimal, inflated sack production. Still learning to convert speed to power. Does not dominate single blocking. Needs more glass in his diet. Could require simple assignments. Motivation and coachability should be examined more closely. Will be 24-year-old rookie. Has a glaring bust factor.