Let’s take a trip back into time, say 2013, and we’re approaching the NFL Draft where you read up on some young buck named Ra’Shede Hageman out of Minnesota. You can say the pressure was on from the get as not only was he trying to become the first Gopher drafted in the first round since RB Lawrence Maroney back in 2006, but some say Hageman drew comparisons to J.J. Watt because of his brute force and quick feet. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be Watt, though. Fast forward and we have the Atlanta Falcons take Hageman with their second round pick (37th overall).
Entering minicamp and training camp, Hageman got into a fight with a teammate and hurt his wrist (not a good look) then he wentahead and made a mess of himself on social media as he was looking for weed. He told his teammates his account was hacked after (100 percent of athletes say this). Add in that the Falcons appeared on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” and saw Hageman look uninspired and folks questioned his work ethic; once again not a good look for someone who has promise.
Ra’Shede’s rookie season was one to forget, at least for him. He only played a total of 224 snaps (132 run defense/92 pass rush) and he didn’t fare too well in either. Hageman’s rookie season stats were 16 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 QB sack and some may say, why would he be a breakout candidate? Well folks, he’s put focus into 2015 as he’s already down 15 pounds off his 6’6 frame, roughly went from 310 to 295 and looks leaner and meaner than ever. He had an outstanding scouting report coming out of Minnesota (physical, quick feet and explosive) as the Falcons will need his ability to disrupt the QB this season. What’s going to help Hageman this season is there’s a possibility on base downs where Vic Beasley could line up next to him, talk about disruption right there. The opposing QB better keep running.
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Consistency was missing in Hageman’s game and he’s looking to improve on that aspect of the game to help him get the starting job this season, he’ll be battling Jonathan Babineaux and without a doubt I believe he can beat him. In MFL (MyFantasyLeague.com) Ra’Shede has gotten the DT (Defensive Tackle) positional tag and that absolutely boosts his value in DT-required leagues because he will also play DE. He is definitely someone to have on your radar as either your DT1 or DL2/3 option because he’ll put up some impressive numbers entering his 2nd season. I pegged Hageman with a Michael Brockers IDP Profile with Kyle Williams IDP Profile upside. He could get anywhere between 45-50 tackles, 4-6 QB Sacks and a few turnovers, not too shabby right? Now’s the time to target Hageman though, his value will go through the roof once camp hits. Time for Ra’Shede Hageman to take the next step, he will and don’t be late to the party!