Vernon Davis recently said that the San Francisco 49ers are facing a championship or bust kind of season. Time is running out on some of the veteran players that are the core of this team. The 49ers have 11 picks in the 2014 NFL draft which will give them an opportunity to add a few impact players. Today we will take a look at another of the day one 49ers draft prospects. Next up is Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’shede Hageman.
Hageman is one of the biggest defensive lineman in this draft. He can be dominant at times. None of the offensive linemen at the Reese’s Senior Bowl could handle him. Hageman was unstoppable in one on one and inside sessions during Senior Bowl practices. When motivated, he has the strength to bull rush his way to the quarterback. He also shows surprising athleticism when he slashes his way to the quarterback. He is one of the more disruptive defensive linemen in this draft class.
“I definitely use my basketball skills. When it comes to playing football, me being athletic helped me get to where I am. In the NFL everyone is athletic so I definitely have to stick to my fundamentals to get better. I am capable of playing in 4-3 or 3-4. I tell coaches that I can play from a zero technique all the way to a nine. I’m comfortable, versatile and can play anywhere on the line. Being a hybrid three technique, you better be able to play inside and that is one of my strengths.”
Versatility is always a plus for draft prospects. Hageman can be plugged in at multiple spots along the line and would be best in a rotation initially. He will flash on certain plays against the run or rushing the passer. His size makes him a natural two gap player when called upon. He has the strength to overpower offensive lineman and it really shows on tape. There were some times when he simply ran over the lineman en route to the quarterback. Another thing that Hageman does well is knock down passes at the line of scrimmage. He uses great anticipation to get his hands up and clog the passing lanes. Hageman’s rare leaping ability is also a reason for his high amount of pass break ups.
How will he help the 49ers? Hageman is the perfect prospect for the 49ers. He will provide them with a future replacement for Justin Smith. The 49ers would be able to put together a fearsome Nascar package with Corey Lemonier and Aldon Smith at defensive end while Hageman and Tank Carradine generate an interior pass rush. Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula is known for being able to get the most out of his players.
NFL Comparison: Richard Seymour. Seymour is one of the more dominant 3-4 defensive ends in the last decade. He was able to get a pass rush just based off of his strength alone which is similar to Hageman. Hageman is very similar to Seymour in size and strength. Both are 6-6 but Seymour was 317 pounds while Hageman weighs in at 310 pounds. Seymour and Hageman are also both able to stonewall offensive lineman and stuff running plays.
6-6 310 pounds
34 1/4 inch arms
10 1/4 inch hands
5.02 40 yd dash
4.50 20 yd shuttle
35.5 inch vertical
9.5 broad jump
32 reps bench press
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