Falcons linked to Gophers' Hageman in new NFL Draft report


Minnesota Gophers fans may want to keep an eye on the Atlanta Falcons when it's their turn to pick at the upcoming NFL Draft.

ESPN reports the Falcons held a private workout with Gophers defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman, and Atlanta head coach Mike Smith left the workout raving about Hageman's ability to play in any defensive scheme.

The Falcons' team website did a 13-photo slideshow on Hageman earlier this month.

Projected as a late first- or early second-round pick, Hageman could be on the board for Atlanta with the 37th pick in the draft.

CBS Sports has a panel of experts creating mock drafts, and in their latest update, Will Brinson was the only one to project Hageman as a first-rounder. He has Hageman going to the New England Patriots with the No. 29 pick.

Bucky Brooks also has Hageman going to the Patriots in the first round of his mock draft at NFL.com. Fellow NFL.com writer Chase Goodbread picked Hageman to go to the Broncos 31st overall. Brooks is on record saying Hageman will be a fascinating player to watch.

"He will tantalize evaluators with his freakish athleticism and superior physical dimensions, but his game tape doesn't match his natural talent at this time," he wrote after studying Hageman on film following the 2013 college football season.

Draft expert Nolan Nawrocki referred to Hageman as a "classic boom-or-bust prospect."

Hageman does plan to be in New York for the NFL Draft.

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