Aug 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Ra

Kansas City Chiefs Draft Prospect Profile: Ra’Shede Hageman


ArmchairAddict1

If you connect the dots between my post for Arrowhead Addict last week on misconceptions about the Chiefs first round draft pick and my first mock draft that went up at Fansided.com last Thursday it wasn’t hard to see this post coming. In my AA piece I made the argument that it was wrong for KC fans to assume that if the Chiefs draft a defensive player at pick #23 that it would be a defensive back. Then in my mock draft I mocked a player that I haven’t seen anyone else select for the Chiefs, Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman. So this week I thought I would give Chiefs fans a detailed look at Hageman.

Let me start by saying that I am certainly not an NFL scout. I love the game. I study the game. I pay close attention to the opinions of those I have found to be credible. So this profile will include some of my personal opinion but will also draw together the opinions of many others whose background probably is slightly more credible than that of this music teacher by day/football blogger by night.

Let’s start with the facts:

Ra’Shede Hageman is a 6’6″, 310 lbs, defensive tackle from Minnesota. He was recruited as a tight end and didn’t make the shift to defensive line until college. Over his college career he totaled 92 tackles, 10 sacks, 10 pass deflections, and an interception. The majority of those stats came in his final two seasons (his only ones as a starter). Hageman is extremely athletic for a player his size. His combine results (while overshadowed by those of Jadeveon Clowney and Aaron Donald) were very impressive. His 5.02 40 yards dash, 35.5 inch vertical jump, and 114 inch broad jump were all numbers that beat several defensive end prospects despite the fact that Hageman is about 4 inches taller and 60 pounds heavier than some of them. While Clowney’s 34.5 inch long arms were used as a reason for his mediocre bench press results, Hageman’s equally long arms didn’t stop him from posting an impressive 32 reps. Simply put, Ra’Shede Hageman has the physical tools to be a stand out NFL defensive lineman. The question is if he will capitalize on those physical tools and actually be successful.

Before we get to evaluations of his play on the field, it’s worth noting that Hageman’s back story is one that rivals Michael Oher’s of “The Blind Side” fame. His story was wonderfully detailed by John Rosengen of SBNation.com in his story “Ra’Shede’s Road”. The story is too detailed and well written for my to do it justice in a quick summary. Here’s the opening:

He was born on fourth-and-long. Mom drank when she was pregnant with him. Traded sex for drugs while he was in diapers. State authorities dragged him out of a crack house closet when he was 4 years old. Threw Mom in prison. Dad? Dead before the kid met him.

Start most kids off like that, they’re looking at 15 to 20 by the time they’re 18. Unless they learn to catch a football in traffic or cut down a running back behind the line. That’s what Ra’Shede Hageman learned to do, which opened another path — one he followed to the University of Minnesota — where he’s a 23-year-old senior defensive tackle on the watch lists for this year’s Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award. And that could lead to a first-round selection by the NFL. But his past could still outrun his future.

The bottom line is that Hageman has had to overcome a lot of personal obstacles to get to where he is today. If you’re at all interested, I highly recommend reading Rosenberg’s full article. It really gives you some perspective into Hageman the player and the person.

Now we move to his play on the field:

The general consensus is that Hageman has flashed the kind of ability that could make him an elite Pro Bowl caliber player in the NFL, but is very raw and inconsistent at this point and is in need of a lot of coaching to take his game to the next level. Here are some quotes from scouting reports that I found.

From NFL.com’s draft profile:

A raw, converted tight end with a basketball background, Hageman is a big, athletic, finesse three-technique with intriguing dimensions and movement skills who fits best in an aggressive, one-gap scheme where he could fire into gaps. Will probably be restricted to nickel pass-rush duty initially until the game slows down for him, but has impact potential if he ever figures it out. Is still maturing, having endured a harrowing childhood to get to where he is today, and would be best served landing in a structured environment with veteran mentorship. Classic boom-or-bust prospect.

From CBS Sports’ Draft Profile Player Overview:

They don’t come much more physically imposing than Hageman, whose broad shoulders, long arms and trim waist have generated comparisons from J.J. Watt to John Henderson.
Hageman’s physical tools are exciting and his rise from a tough childhood is inspirational, but best of all is his DL versatility. Hagemen looks more like a modern day offensive tackle, possessing broad shoulders, long arms and a relatively trim waist. He remains a bit raw but possesses first round traits.

Walterfootball.com’s Charlie Campbell had an intriguing player comparison:

Player Comparison: Justin Smith. Hageman is bigger than Smith (6-4, 285), but both of them are physical forces at the point of attack. They can toss linemen to the side and cause a lot of havoc in the backfield. Both players also have a burst off the ball and the speed to close. Smith is one of the best five-techniques in the NFL, and Hageman could also become an excellent 3-4 defensive end.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks had another interesting comparison in his article “Film Room: DT Ra’Shede Hageman is a Boom-or-Bust Prospect“:

He is not ready to assume a major role as a first-year starter, but could blossom into a difference-maker down the road. In fact, I believe that Hageman could become a Pro Bowl-caliber five-technique (defender aligned over top of the offensive tackle) in the mold of Calais Campbell in a 3-4 defense. While he has only played a few snaps at the position, he is a natural fit with his length and athleticism. He is strong enough to be a “two-gap” player, while also displaying the agility to move on stunts and games. Additionally, Hageman’s experience at the one- and three-technique would give him the versatility to play in the hybrid 3-4 schemes that are currently the rage in the NFL.

Another quote that caught my eye from Brooks’ article on Hageman at NFL.com was about his pass rushing upside:

If he can improve his snap count anticipation and hand usage, there isn’t any reason why he can’t produce six to eight sacks a season as an interior rusher as a pro.

For the record, Tyson Jackson has nine career sacks in five seasons, so six to eight sacks per season from Hageman would be a significant upgrade, to say the least.

Finally, after reading up on Hageman from other sources I decided I should look over some of his game tape for myself. At draftbreakdown.com they have eight of Hageman’s games (four from 2013, four from 2012) that you can watch where it’s cut to only include the plays that he was on the field. I recommend checking them out for yourself. The best ones to watch are probably Northwestern (2013) where you can see his interception and 3 batted passes, Michigan (2012) where he had six tackles and a sack, and their Texas Tech bowl game where he had six tackles, a sack, and a pass deflection.

My conclusion is that the above scouting reports are pretty spot on. You can go long stretches of games where Hageman is a non-factor. In fact, since he was receiving so much more attention (double teams/plays going away from him) in 2013 his game footage is often pretty boring. However, a few times each game he does something that your average player simply can’t do. That upside is too good to ignore. In fact, I would argue that his college game tape is actually better than that of Dontari Poe when he came out of Memphis and that has turned out pretty well for the Chiefs. What makes me especially intrigued is that he was transitioned to defensive line from tight end so that he’s still relatively new to the position. While that doesn’t completely excuse his average technique, it does make me think that he still has a lot of room to grow technique wise that could allow his talent to shine more.

I think Hageman would be perfect to line up next to Dontari Poe in the sub package. Hageman looked very good when he had a head full of steam going forward. On passing downs when he could attack without having to worry about the run as much he should be very effective right off the bat. He looked especially good on stunts where he could hit a seam with some momentum. Also, his athleticism and vertical jump make him a disruptive force even when doesn’t get to the QB (similar to JJ Watt and all his batted passes). An offensive line having to deal with two physical beasts like Poe and Hageman coming up the middle and Justin Houston and Tamba Hali coming off the edges would be an almost overwhelming challenge. Once Hageman learned the necessary technique he would be able to take over the 3-4 base DE that may be vacated by the pending departure of Tyson Jackson, making him doubly valuable.

Bottom line, I’m not sure there’s a player that will be available at #23 that may have a higher ceiling than Ra’Shede Hageman (assuming he makes it to #23). There may be safer players available, but the idea of getting someone at that spot that people are comparing to Justin Smith and Calais Campbell is very tempting. The Chiefs can draft a wide receiver or cornerback in the third round that could easily still contribute, but they won’t find a defensive lineman with this kind of elite physical abilities anywhere else in the draft. The fact that the Chiefs have been able to develop the elite physical abilities of Dontari Poe is a good sign that they may be able to do the same with Hageman. Plus, the fact that every time that Hageman has had his back against the wall he has responded and stepped up and put in the work needed to succeed makes me believe that he will do the necessary work at the next level as well.

I think the Chiefs should take a long hard look at Ra’Shede Hageman if he is available when they pick in the first round.

Here is Hageman’s game against Michigan in 2012. You can see an impressive sack about 20 seconds in.

What do you think Addicts? Do you like Hageman as a possible pick in the first round? Also, is there another player that you would like me to do a similar break down on for next week? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Follow me on Twitter: @Lyle Graversen

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Featured Kansas City Chiefs Popular Ra'Shede Hageman

  • Tony Parker

    He may turn out to be great but thinking we need an immediate starter in the 1st. Why take the chance on a bust or boom candidate that will have a very steep learning curve….imo.
    He could however fall a few rounds and then could be worth the risk.

  • berttheclock

    Excellent argument for your position, Lyle. However, most mocks are based by the various writers trying to get into the mind set of, either, GMs and/or owners So, they look for need for each team and attempt to glean anything they can from statements by those higher ups. In the case of the Cowboys, a few have tried to read into whatever drool is dripping from the mouth of Jerry Jones. At the moment, it appears he is interested in rebuilding his defensive line and Hageman would be solid at 16 for that construction project.

    However, it appears more and more that should the Chiefs stay at 23 and not trade down to pick up a much needed pick in both the 2nd round and an extra pick in the 3rd, that pick at 23 will come down to what Dorsey believes to be the best way to fix one of three problems, which consists of adding a pass rusher in the front seven, or taking a fast wide out or a new safety. All three of those must be addressed, but, what is the best way for them, free agency, trades or the draft? If we stay at 23 only one of those positions can be addressed in that first round. Dorsey may find quality in the lower rounds, but, only one of the seemingly cream guys will be available in the first round. Come May, whomever Dorsey picks will speak volumes for what he believes the needed direction of the Chiefs appears to be. (Please, Mr Dorsey, Brandin Cooks, please, but, should it be Pryor or Ha Ha or, perhaps, Hageman, I promise not to whine)

    • Brian Dempsey

      Bert, I’m not sold on Ha Ha, because lately all Alabama DB’s have struggled in the pros. I’d prefer the Chiefs stay away from Alabama DB’s. In fact, I’d prefer the Chiefs stay away from any Safety in round 1 and get a FA candidate that can play now and shop for a Safety in later rounds. To me, A 3-4 DE that attack the QB or a WR that can contribute as a kick-returner right away ( Lee or Beckham or Cooks ) is a better value pick.

      • berttheclock

        Interesting that Saban selects the pick of the litter for his team, but, is it their particular system, as to why several have not move up in the NFL? Look at McClain, their, can’t miss, LB of recent years.

  • freshmeat62

    I would love nothing better than a dominate d-line, and then watch Payton do his chicken-on-a-hotplate dance. But after seeing that so many think Hageman’s a boom or bust type, I’m not so sure I’d want to risk my only pick in the 1st 2 rds on him. If the Chiefs can trade down into the late 1st while picking up a 2nd or even another 3rd, then I’d take the chance on him. Crennel got it right when he took Poe, despite what a lot of his critics, including me, were saying. If Dorsey/Reid see the same in Hageman, go for it.

    Tuitt is another, I’d be interested in.

    There is another guy at FS that I don’t see much about, and that’s Donte Johnson of NC St. Looking at his combine numbers they were good, and he has good size. Every rateing site I’ve seen has him rated as a 6-7 rd or UDFA. His 1st 2 years were at FS at NC St. but his last 2 years were at CB, I assume because of his 4.45 speed. That is what he ran at the combine. I have a feeling that when teams study the results of the combine, Johnson may move up some draft boards. NC St’s pro day is one I want to watch for.

    • berttheclock

      Yeah, I am very happy I lost that arm wrestle with Romeo where I screamed for the guard out of Stanford and he kept telling me he could improve Poe. Both Big Roy and I were wrong and Romeo was right. It will be very interesting to see how much clout Romeo will have in the draft room of the Texans for their first pick.

      • freshmeat62

        Wonder what ever happened to Big Roy? I guess he didn’t come over from the Star. He’s just floating around out there in cyberspace.

        • Brian Dempsey

          I sent a message to BigRoy inviting him over here.

        • berttheclock

          Well, you know he is currently “coaching” the Royals in spring training.

      • freshmeat62

        And I also go along w/ what you’ve stated before about moving Poe to DE. I think he could play it. He has the speed and quickness. I’ve seen some that have said his 340+ size was a detriment. As far as 340 goes, that’s just a number, and he carries it very well. Besides, how often do they run a straight 3-4 anyway. They have dozens of hybrid defenses.

        • Steve Blank

          I think Poe should be moved to DE. We could better use his speed there…not just in the pass rush aspect but getting to the outside on runs too….in my humble opinion he is perfect for that spot in this 3-4

      • Tristian

        Hey u asked my take on the Harbaugh/Baalke nonsense and its this. As much as I like winning Harbaugh has issues. Hes shown he is not to be trusted. At stanford while coaching luck he brings in RG3 and tells both players he wants to run a 2 QB system. Really? Then the Peyton Manning fiasco saying he didn’t work him out or meet with him when everyone west of California knew it was true that he did. Then what he did to Alex Smith was wrong. Look he gave a bs excuse for benching him. He said”Alex is hot. And Kap is hot. We have 2 hot QBs right now. ” Really? Thats the best he could come up with since Alex was playing the best football of his career up to that point going 25 of his last 27 with 4 TDs. He literally took his job away. Then the browns thing. Apparently the browns called Harbaugh to ask if they could interview his assistants and he said something to them to make them think he was available. Really dude? Then there have been several reports saying his act is wearing thin in the locker room and in the front office. Apparently the niners refuse to pay him like a coach who has won a super bowl. (Top 5 coach money) I don’t blame them. They say they will give him an offer and if he refuses who cares? Plus look at the way the we lost 2 NFC championships and the Super Bowl the last 3 years. 10 turnovers in those 3 games.offensive coach? Im sorry one better isnt he a QB guru? So why is Kap finishing his 3rd season and he is still an average passer? How about impact players he coached like at Stanford like Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin he passed on in the draft? You add all that up and I smell a split. Personally I don’t like him not just for what he did to alex although that kind of decision tells you about a person. But his antics on the sidelines and the constant failure of beating teams who stop our running game and run on us and put the ball in Kaps hands. He would be job free for 5 seconds literally. But personally I want him gone because of the window the niners had the last 3 years and now the division has caught up to him especially Seattle and you have to wonder if Alex had been QB…..what if?

        • berttheclock

          Thanks. I could not believe when Madden sided with Harbaugh. If Baalke had not found the players both prior to taking over as GM and afterwards, the Niners would still be struggling. Look at him asking Michael Wilhoite to come to SF as a walk on, when, Pioli and his so-called scouts still couldn’t find Washburn on a map. Now, it looks as though Wilhoite will fill in for Bowman until Bowman can return.

    • Steve Blank

      I agree with the Tuitt statement. That dude is a monster.

  • Brian Dempsey

    I like Hageman, but I believe Tuitt is a better fit. Tuitt was a true 3-4 DE at Notre Dame that got 20.5 sacks in 28 starts and he won’t turn 21 until after the draft. And ideal scenario would be to trade down a few slots, get an extra pick ( no, it won’t be a 2nd rounder, forget it ) and still land Tuitt.

    The Chiefs current D-Line coach, Tommy Brasher has a very good track record developing D-Lineman.

  • Daniel Mayfield

    I like the idea of Hageman as the defensive player. IMO, I would like to see them get another WR. Somebody like Bowe, so the teams don’t double up on him so much.
    It’s been a while since I’ve been able to read, but last time I did….the team might be losing McCluster. If so, that makes it harder for inside passes.

  • Steve Blank

    he looks like a very good player…but we have more pressing needs…we need a CB bigtime, a Wr, ILB, so as inviting as he looks…I hope we pass…unless of course we cover those first two bases in FA