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Why The Hageman Pick Makes Sense


brooklyn
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Like many of you, when we picked Hageman in the 2nd, I scratched my head. Attaochu, Van Noy, and Ealy were still there. “Why are we passing on the rushers?” I thought.

The more thought about it though, it made sense.

First, there were only a limited number of true edge rushers in this draft. While the overall class was deep, the number of edge rushers was limited. Think about Day 1 rushers: Clowney, Mack, and Barr are obvious. Ford was seen as the next best guy, and we tried to trade up but it cost too much. Smith then was picked in the mid-20s (a bit of a reach for a situational rusher), and Lawrence (another guy that we had our eye on) went at the top of the 2nd round. Unless we were willing to part with a 3rd rounder in a deep draft, there were no trade partners to move up.

Next, let’s look at the value of Hageman vs. Attaochu, Van Noy, or Ealy. Hageman has the potential to be a three down lineman. A gap filler on run downs, and someone with the size and athleticism to collapse the pocket on 3rd and long. While it is mostly “potential” at this point, his athleticism has been compared to Richard Seymour in his prime. It is a bit of a gamble, but if it pays off, then you’ve got a starting d-lineman, instead of a starting linebacker. Given the choice, you always invest in the guys in the trenches, especially big bodies that can play in multiple fronts.

Regarding the guys we didn’t pick: I would have really liked the Attaochu pick, as he’s shown the ability to get QBs to the ground. Van Noy would also have been a great pick, but he isn’t a pure “rusher.” He’s more of 3-down linebacker who can bring heat on blitzes. Ealy is a 4-3 end, and is not athletic enough to play standing up in 3-4 looks, and would have been limited by scheme. My personal feeling is that the coach’s didn’t see a huge upgrade vs. what we already have, in these guys. In other words, there were no obvious upgrades over Osi, Kroy, or Mass.

At the end of the day, we now have the ability (at least on paper) to field a true 3-4/3-3-5 line. Between Hageman, Soliai, and Jackson, we have completely rebuilt the d-line, and should be able hold the point of attack.

Also, considering all the needs we had, as well as the lack of depth, I don’t think that one off-season could have addressed each and every need. We still need a TE that holds safeties in the middle of the field, and we still need more depth and competition along the interior O-line. All that being said, the front office did a great job of fixing what they could.

I for one am going to get behind them now, instead of complaining about what we don’t have or didn’t pick. Its time now to support this team.

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The draft didn't really fall the way we wanted it to at pick 37. There was a run on edge rushers and safeties and we weren't able to trade up to get in the middle of it. By the time we picked, we would have had to reach for a need pick or grab the highest guy on our board. I certainly understand why they went with Hageman. I'm just worried that he has too far to go in order to fulfill his potential and might never get there. The only other real option I saw was trading down or taking a TE. But TD and Smitty don't seem to want a pass-first TE and we know TD never, ever trades down.

Regardless of my doubts, I'm a big fan of his right now. Massive potential does serve to get fans excited.

Edited by Mekias
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Having a dominant 5 technique is so important in a 34. Hageman has the athleticism to line up anywhere, but I am hoping he really takes to the 5 early on. The Pats understand how important that position is. Ask them how the Pats defense faired after the decision to trade Seymour was made. They've only been ranked above 25th in total defense once since he left and 10th the last year he was there.

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I dont see why this thread has to be created. This board has been crying for lineman to collapse the pocket. If the interior dlineman can keep the QB from stepping up into the pocket our edge rushers instantly get better. Am I right?

Because there are actually too many idiots that think we "settled" for a 6'6" 310 monster with an attitude who had been projected to go top 15 in the 1st that we got in the 2nd because we didn't pick some pass rusher from Georgia Tech that was no where near as good as people thought he was.

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The Falcons had to get back to basics and the basics start in the trenches then work their way out. I want this team to have the physical tools to play tough and at the same time have the speed and finesse to be high powered. Even in ABs prime we never had the interior DLine as stacked as it is now and back then we always had problems shutting down the run that cost us games.

No matter how much offenses change from running to passing to spread to read option the fundamentals always stay the same.

1) You never want to be one dimensional on offense.

2) You always need balance.

3) When you do run is HAS to be effective.

4) You have to control the clock when called upon.

Defenses that shut down the run (even if the offense is pass happy) take away all that is listed above. Before we can talk about getting after the QB we have to take away the QB's rock, and that's his running game. Without an offensive running game we put the weight of success all on the QB's shoulders and the league only has so many Manning, Brees, and Bradys to go around.

Drafting Mathews was the right thing because it helps our running game. Drafting Hageman was the the right thing because it helps our run defense. We aren't going to be a team anymore that is going to get pushed off the line and THAT"S where it all starts. I'd rather fix the heart and soul of the line now and worry about finding a pass rusher next year then get a pass rusher this year that keeps getting trucked by pulling guards.

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Really wanted an edge rusher at 37, but Hageman can be a beast. Falcons spent a week with him at the Senior Bowl and Cox loved the kid. Think a lot of the "taking plays off" criticism is off base- he's only been a DE for a couple of years and was thinking too much out on the field.

If he can consistently push the pocket backwards on 3rd and long, this D will look really good.

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At least he acknowledges his weak areas. Unless a player can recognize his faults he won't be very coachable. I think he and Bryan Cox established a good rapport and that his game is gonna improve to the point that he's a well rounded player who can use proper technique in combination with his athleticism which is off the charts. Also I think this team still has great chemistry and that will go a long way in getting him to put forth 100% on every play

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