Falcons select DE Hageman in second round

After a very successful first day of the NFL Draft with the selection of offensive lineman Jake Matthews, the Falcons picked defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman from Minnesota.

His final year with the Gophers was a successful one as he was named first-team All-Big Ten by the media and coaches, and he was also named third-team All-American by Athlon Sports. He tallied 38 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and two sacks. He was also named the team’s Most Valuable Player making him the first defensive player to win the award in five years.

Hageman is an intimidating presence, standing at 6-feet-6 and 320 pounds. And because of his size he can play the three-technique or line up over the nose. Hageman is very good at pushing offensive linemen deep into the backfield and has very impressive strength. Lindy’s Sports, an annual sports magazine, named Hageman as the fourth-best defensive tackle prospect in the draft. The magazine also compares him to recently retired Albert Haynesworth because of his combination of size, speed power and athleticism.

The Falcons ranked near the bottom of the NFL last year when it came to run defense. Along with Hageman, defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai, the Falcons are making sure they are more physical on the defensive line for years to come.


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