2014 Patriots Draft: DT Ra'Shede Hageman

Scott Halleran

An evaluation of University of Minnesota DT Ra'Shede Hageman

Name: Ra'Shede Hageman

School: University of Minnesota

Stats

Size: 6'6, 310 lbs

Expected Round: 1st, end of the round

Game Footage

Strengths: Combination of elite size and power. Good closing speed. Great at shedding blockers. Strong base variety of pass rushing moves (bull, rip, punch). Able to get skinny to cut into the backfield and make plays. Continuously disruptive, even in the face of double teams. Extremely stout when able to get into his stance. Active hands against the pass to try and bat down the ball. His power game is his best asset, causing linemen to skate backwards. Sniffs out gaps from pull blockers to make plays in the backfield.

Weaknesses: Not fast enough to be dangerous on stunts. The same time he gets skinny to go into the backfield, he turns his back and can be easily sealed by savvy blockers. Too often abandons his gap to get into the backfield. He has closing speed, but his change of direction can be lumbering. Stands tall against the run too frequently. Spin move is ineffective and leaves him vulnerable.

What is their role? Hageman is a day one starter who can play multiple roles on the Patriots defensive line. In the 4-3, he can line up as the penetrating DT next to the NT (Sealver Siliga/Vince Wilfork), or he can be the NT while a DT attacks the backfield (Chris Jones/Tommy Kelly/Armond Armstead), or he can play LDE in heavy formations. In the 3-4, he can play any position on the line.

Will it change from year 1 to year 2? Hageman should be a player in the rotation in year 1, and then he'll be a featured member of the line in year 2. The team can win games with him in year 1, and win games because of him in year 2.

How many downs can he play? He can play three downs. He's active against both the pass and the run. He provides limited value on fourth down scenarios, but he can provide push on kicking units.

Which current player will he beat out? All of them. He has the potential to be the best defensive lineman on the roster from day one, similar to Chandler Jones being the top defensive end from day one.

What’s his ST value? Can feature on the kick blocking unit.

Does he have positional versatility? He can play defensive tackle, nose tackle, and defensive end in both the 3-4 and the 4-3.

Why the Patriots? The Patriots need help on their defensive line and Hageman is the best player in the draft in the Patriots draft range. He can line up at any position and be an impact player. He needs some coaching up on gap integrity, but that's where Bill Belichick shines- and Belichick rarely asks his DTs to get skinny, which plays to Hageman's strengths. Hageman is a force on the inside and his bull rush is devastating. Put him inside and have him push the pocket and he'll generate pressure every time. He flashes upside that could make him the best player in the draft.

Why not the Patriots? It's possible he trends up to the late teens and early 20s, based upon how the board falls. Aaron Donald should be long gone, so Hageman is jousting with Louis Nix III and Timmy Jernigan to be in the top 3 DTs drafted. As a result, the price of Hageman might be too high. Additionally, the Patriots have been remodeling their defense so it's possible they want quicker attackers up the middle from their defensive tackles.

Verdict: Yes. Yes. Yes. Hageman is a perfect fit for this Patriots defense from day one and he has the upside to take this defense to the next level. His versatility and his athletic ability are unparalleled in this draft and there are few in the league that can do what he does. He's raw and needs to be coached. He's overcome tremendous adversity to get to where he is right now. He's a player that will win games for the Patriots.

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