The Eagles defensive front was a strength for the team in Billy Davis' first year at coordinator. Featuring young up-and-comers like Cedric Thornton, Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan, the line looks to be strong for years to come. However, Logan's lack of size and Thornton's lack of pass rushing ability may cause the team to add a player that rotate with those two players to make an impact in areas that they lack prowess.
Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman is a versatile lineman that played in all four spots in Minnesota's 4-3 front. If the Eagles feel they need a more prototypical nose tackle and a good rotational three-technique, Hageman could be an option in the draft.
A three-star recruit at tight end out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hageman was recruited and committed close to home. The mammoth man was redshirted as a freshman and switched to defensive line prior to his first year of play. Hageman played in eight games as a reserve during his first year and collected just five tackles.
Hageman played in all 12 games as a sophomore and recorded 13 tackles (four for loss), two sacks and a forced fumble. His top game that year came against Northwestern when he collected the two sacks and the forced fumble. As a junior, he became full-time started and appeared in all 13 games on the season. He finished the year with 35 tackles and six sacks. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the media.
As a senior, Hageman received first-team All-Big Ten nods by coaches and media. He produced 38 tackles, two sacks and an interception on the season in 13 games.
The All-Big Ten Conference selection has steamrolled blockers, rarely meeting his match except when he was pancaked a few times by Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin.
Hageman ran the 40-yard dash between 4.8 and 4.9 seconds, bench presses 475 pounds and is flexible enough to operate in 3-4 or 4-3 schemes.
Hageman is absolutely, completely ginormous. Big and long, Hagemen is physically imposing and at times, looks dominant. He has the ability to run over linemen and commands double teams frequently. He is good at getting his arms up for batted passes. He can also get penetration.
Hageman is the definition of scheme versatile as he can play all four spots in an even front and each of the three positions on 3-4 line. Minnesota used him at the three and nine techniques, which he showed promise at both.
Like most giant athletes, Hageman lacks bend and can appear stiff. He can get taken out of plays and has issues recognizing plays. He gets lost during both run and pass plays at times and is an inconsistent force as a pass rusher.
The main issue with Hageman is that he is not dominant against inferior talent. In games against Syracuse and Western Illinois, he is not that impresses and barely sticks out on tape. He is not a special run defender.
The Eagles really are not pressed to make a big move on the defensive line. Cox, Thornton and Logan are very talented and are likely going to be Philadelphia for a while. Along with those three, Vinny Curry played well at defensive end when given snaps. Hageman is a nice prospect but will most likely not be the top guy on the board at No. 22, nor should he be. He is likely a second round pick and there are more needs and talent for the taking. However, he does fit the Chip Kelly bill as a big guy with versatility.
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