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Packers Draft Mailbag: DL Ra'Shede Hageman Gets Attention

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Packers Draft Mailbag: DL Ra'Shede Hageman Gets Attention

In the run-up to the NFL Draft, I plan on publishing a weekly "Mailbag" feature here at Cheesehead TV.

If there's any question you'd like answered, tag your queries with the hashtag #PackersDraft on Twitter.

Among the players mentioned, I'd easily take Calvin Pryor, who I consider to be the best safety in this year's draft by a wide margin. In addition to being a punishing hitter, Pryor has accounted for 15 turnovers in just three years, either interceptions or forced fumbles. Some may argue he gambles a little too often, but even when Pryor does gamble, he wins far more often than he loses.

Ra'Shede Hageman is a boom or bust type of player, and even with so many defensive linemen slated to become free agents, safety is still the bigger need. If players like Datone Jones and Mike Daniels develop like the Packers hope they will, the need to add another defensive end/interior rusher becomes lessened. As for Louis Nix, he definitely has the size, but does he have the disruptive quality worthy of a first-round draft choice? Not that you need a nose tackle to put up monster sack numbers, but I'd prefer a first round draft choice to have more than 2.5 career college sacks.

First of all, I don't think it's any given that the Packers will automatically take Hageman with their first-round selection. Not that I'm necessarily dismissing that possibility, but there's a lot Hageman needs to prove in the way of consistency before being stamped as sealed as a top 21 draft pick. However, I assume this question has more to do with the merits of Deone Bucannon and Marcus Smith anyway.

Smith is a good prospect, another in a long line of outside linebacker hybrids that figures to make the transition from defensive end in college. But if the Packers don't address safety in the first round, it's hard to see them passing up Bucannon at such a position of need by the second round (assuming they don't go after a free agent). If both Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are healthy, Smith might not see the field much at all, whereas Bucannon could become an instant starter in the Green Bay secondary.

It's between inside linebacker and tight end. And while potentially losing both Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless in the same offseason might make me second guess myself, I'd go with inside linebacker. There's probably no other position on the defensive side of the football that could seemingly have a bigger impact on the outcome of the game. A good inside linebacker can make a difference as a pass rusher, in coverage and making the most tackles week in and week out. That's probably not something you can say about either A.J. Hawk or Brad Jones right now, at least on a consistent basis. And that's also what makes a guy like C.J. Mosley of Alabama so intriguing. He'd instantly be the most talented inside linebacker on the team if drafted by the Packers.

While Eric Pinkins was a great guest on Railbird Central on Monday, even he would probably admit he's a late-round prospect at best. What makes Pinkins intriguing is his 6-3 height, or at least that's what San Diego State lists him as being. For a player of that size, it will be imperative for him to prove at his pro day workout in March that he can move well by turning in a fast 40-yard dash, three-cone drill and the other timed drills. If Pinkins can do that, then he's probably worth giving a shot as an undrafted player and perhaps even as a late-round type.

If we're talking late rounds, it's next to impossible to predict who exactly the Packers will draft, giving basically a one in 32 shot to any player being picked by the Packers. But if you want a name I find intriguing as an under-the-radar guy, my interest is piqued by a nose tackle by the name of Ryan Carrethers of Arkansas State. For someone who weighs 330 lbs., I want to know how he averaged over seven tackles a game as a senior (93 overall). He received an invite to the NFL Combine, so maybe if tests well, he'll be one of those draft risers we so often hear about.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

NashvillePacker's picture

This article was awesome. Thanks for posting and for the intelligent analysis. One question, how would Hageman improve his consistency between now and the draft? He is likely to put up great numbers at combine/pro day.

Jamie's picture

Bucannon and Pryor are the two best safeties in the draft. I wondered if there was a legit 1st rd prospect, but now think these two could both go in the 1st...pending the underwear show in Indy. Clinton-Dix is a distant 3rd IMO...though I would take him in a heartbeat in the 2nd.

Bert's picture

My concern with C-Dix is that I read where he is not a very physical player. We do need somebody in the backfield who can and will hit people. I'm afraid that Tramon, Burnett, Shields and C-Dix would result in a pretty soft set of DBs. Maybe Pryor would give us the physical dimension that is currently missing.

Jamie's picture

Yeah, that's my concern as well, though I wouldn't call him soft necessarily...he's just nowhere near as physical as Pryor and a few notches below Dixon and Buccannon as well.

Jamie's picture

I would also throw in Ahmad Dixon, who may actually fit between Pryor and Bucannon rating wise. He is the faster of the three...on tape at least.

Those are three complete safeties, and the more I look at this years crop, the more I'm impressed and hopeful we can grab one of the top 3 or 4.

Stroh's picture

If you consider Safeties that struggle in coverage to be complete maybe. I don't... They're all great in run support but don't have great coverage skills... Yet. Might develop them but their not there yet.

Jamie's picture

I got a little excited...just so eager to get a legitimate 2nd safety to pair Burnett.

I should have said appear to have the traits (or project) to be complete, meaning they have the size, range, instincts, fearlessness, and possibly the speed (pending Indy) to become a complete NFL safety.

This class is deeper than I realized, having heard/read that Clinton-Dix was the overwhelming #1 safety prospect, I didn't have high hopes. After further review, there could be 7 -10 excellent to very good prospects in this class...and possibly a few others I haven't had the chance to review yet.

Jake's picture

Maybe the Packers can sign Terrell Manning and try him at safety. I was told the guy has big-time skills.

Stroh's picture

Personally I like Pryor more than Clinton-Dix tho I wouldn't say by a large margin. From what I've been able to gather, Clinton-Dix is better in coverage, but not as physical as Pryor. Pryor definitely bring more of a physical presence and I'm guessing they'll test similarly. It kinda comes down to what you want out of your Safety. If you are more concerned w/ his coverage Clinton-Dix should be your pick. If you want the physical presence Pryor should be your pick. IMO the Packers need both but I'm leaning more toward a physical presence as what the Packers need more. Hence my preference for Pryor. I wanted Eric Reid last year for the same reason and that is yet to be filled. However, getting more physical in the front 7 would flip my choice.

Badger's picture

I agree with your assessment. I think it really depends on how Capers and staff view Burnett and where his strengths are best suited in this defense. If they want Burnett to be a center field safety than Pryor is the obvious choice. If they think Burnett is better working in the intermediate zones just behind the linebackers, than Clinton-Dix will be the choice because of his ability to cover a bigger range of space.

Unfortunately, these scenarios that we're talking about when it comes to drafting both for talent and need is why I kind of wish we had lost to the bears. Sure it would have sucked missing the playoffs and losing the division, but we would have been picking 14th. Under those circumstances, it's very likely that a scenario like this could have played out:

-We draft CJ Mosley with the 14th pick.
- One of Pryor/Clinton-Dix is selected in the first round and the other slides into the second round.
-TT trades up after giving up one of our 3rd round picks (the other being a compensatory pick rewarded to us from the Jennings and Walden deals) and selects Pryor/Clinton-Dix
- With our remaining 3rd round pick, TT takes advantage of the deep WR class and takes a quality WR (ideally Donte Moncrief)

I really don't think that scenario is far-fetched or too idealistic. I think Mosley will be available in the first 15 picks due to the QB derby, the top edge rushers with Clowney and Mack, the top OTs in Matthews and Robinson, and Sammy Watkins all being taken in the top 10. Also, TT has demonstrated that he is far more willing to trade up in the 2nd round if he feels a first round talent has slipped.

It would have been far more productive for a season that was for all intents and purposes a write off. Certainly more so than another first round playoff loss.

BradHTX's picture

Stroh and Badger: Interesting analysis. One thought though on the physical vs coverage question with Pryor/Clinton-Dix -- Isn't a hard hitter who isn't so hot in coverage what we already have in Sean Richardson? It seems to me what the Packers have missed since Collins' injury is a ball-hawking safety. Wouldn't that be more like Clinton-Dix (5 INT last year), and maybe Richardson subs in on obvious running downs? Just thinking out loud...

Mark's picture

I stopped reading after, "I kind of wish we had lost to the bears"

Anyone else?

Badger's picture

Alright, if you want to be all myopic about it...substitute "bears" with Cowboys, Falcons, etc. Making the playoffs last season wasn't beneficial in the long term versus missing out on the playoffs and picking 14th.

mark's picture

i think we just appreciate Packers football VERY VERY differently. like you, ted thompson, mike mccarthy ad every packers fan and player, i always aspire to super bowl glory. but i'm 37 years old and i'm LUCKY to have seen two super bowl victories in my lifetime. the simple reality is that most seasons don't end that way. but this season was AMAZING. that cobb catch on 4th and 8, to beat the bears, with under a minute left??? that might've been my all-time favorite packer moment...#1. so how do i wish against that, or any of the wins that got us to that point? it makes no sense to me. using your logic, do you wish the packers lost every game last year and had the #1 pick? would that misery of watching them lose be worth one guy? i just can't see it that way. it's the same logic that had fans giving up on the season well before the bears game. that, to me anyway, was bullshit. we were one finger tip interception away from beating the 49ers. who knows what would have happened had we won that game. last time we won it we were a 6 seed who had plenty of adversity. imagine if that team had your mail-it-in quitter mentality? bottom line, i always want my packers to scrap and claw for every win, no matter the odds. that's packers football. that's vince lombardi. that's the soul of green bay.

Badger's picture

Right. My argument is pragmatic and entirely based upon fact and logic while yours is simply sentimental.

Yes, the name of the game in winning super bowls. Anything else and the season is a failure....hmm I wonder who could have come up with such a world view. Nah, it couldn't have been Vince Lombardi could it?

The fact of the matter is, the Packers and Bears had virtually identical seasons and identical records. They now pick 7 spots ahead of us simply due to the fact that we went to one playoff game and they didn't. Is that one game worth it in the long run?

And let's say we beat the 49ers. Do you really think that team was equipped to not only withstand but beat the Seahawks and Panthers? I don't. And any comparison to the 2010 team is completely unfounded. The dynamics of those two teams and the nature of their injuries are entirely different.

You're like the people who think the Utah Jazz shouldn't tank this season in the name of "sportsmanship." if the Jazz lose this season, get a high draft pick, and then pick Jabari Parker, a mormon, it would completely revitalize the franchise. To weigh that against a couple of meaningless regular season victories is patently absurd.

So keep on keeping on with your sentimental bullshit, but it doesn't make you sound any less stupid.

mark's picture

i absolutely think last years team could have beaten the panthers and seahawks.

ben's picture

Bucannon, HaSean, Pryor, Dixon, Ed Reynolds.........all bore me. I'm not sure any of them are 2nd rounders. Morgan Burnett was a better prospect coming out of GTECH than all these guys.

Value at Safety in 2014: Jimmy Ward(S,middleRound2),Marqueston Huff(CB,S,Compensatory4th), Alden Darby(S,Round5pick21),

I pray somebody takes CJ Mosley before 21. He's undersized and plays like it. If we're going undersized, I'd rather have Ryan Shazier or Telvin Smith . Kyle VanNoy is a better 3-4 ILB right now.

Hageman at least has something special to offer. But he's more of a penetrator, not into gap control or playing nose.... So I'd be thrilled with either trading back or taking Jace Amaro with the 21st pick.

I don't want any dlineman from Notre Dame either. Give me Zack Kerr from Delaware in the 6th, I love this guy, A diamond. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As0ACtkIgZc

Anybody catch Colt Lyerla at TE/RB at Oregon. This guy is a top 15 talent and is worth a flyer in the 4th.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgqbrR8FOYI

Jay Prosch is a special fullback worth taking in the 4th.

Conner Shaw: career 66% completion, 56 TDs, 16 Picks, & gritty. (24tds,1pick last year) Definitely worth a 5th round pick.

Jamie's picture

Actually agree on passing on Mosley, and prefer Shazier. Though undersized, I think Shazier is a perfect fit at MLB in our DEF, where he can rush, cover, and hit...there's something special about that guy.

Badger's picture

I categorically disagree with all of this aside from trying Kyle Van Noy as a 3-4 ILB. He'd be the perfect replacement for Desmond Bishop. He is great in coverage and has pass rushing abilities. The only bummer is he's likely gone by the 2nd and Bish was a 5th round pick.

As for Mosley being undersized, I agree but he's clearly the best MLB. I'm not sold on Shazier at all, especially as a 3-4 MLB. I really don't see how he'd bring anything different than from what we have in Hawk and Jones. Most of his big plays and sacks in college were designed (delayed blitzes,) he doesn't hit very hard, and he's not that great in coverage. He has great closing speed, but a lot of that has to to do with the fact that he's only 230 lbs. If you watch his highlights, the overwhelming majority of his tackles are "drag-down" tackles and that's on a highlight tape. We need a banger in the middle that creates a presence over the middle.

I actually really like Colt Lyerla and I think he's perfect for the Packers. He has great speed and he can occupy safeties over the middle very quickly, but he also brings big time both is run blocking and YAC. But with his off the field issues, there is absolutely no way anyone invests a 4th round pick in him. I don't even think the Packers are going to touch him (which is a shame) but at the very earliest he's a late 5th round pick in terms of value and taking a flyer on him.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Love this Article... Great Job Brian.

I completely agree about Hageman. He is the classic boom/bust prospect. I am going to watch him at the combine to see how he looks, because I think he will be one of those players that has a great combine and will get overdrafted.

I like Pryor, but I'm still not completely sold on him. I want to see his speed first. If he runs in the 4.5 range or faster I think he will for sure be a top 25 pick. If he runs a 4.6 or slower he will fall to the 2nd round. The part I'm not sold on Pryor is he is a big hitter which I like, but he doesn't wrap up. I would like to see him wrap up a lot more then to go for the knock out blow especially considering the Packers problems at safety have been tackling.

I like Bucannon a lot actually. the more I see of him the more I like. He seems to have a nose for the ball. From what I have seen of him, he seems to tackle well. I wouldn't mind getting him in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Top 3 needs, ILB, S, TE (in no order). TE is less of a need if they were to resign Quarless and/or Finley. But right now I'm not counting on Finley playing, and Quarless is far from proven. I like Bostick but he isn't a #1.
I could see the Packers looking at Ebron or Amarro in the 1st, or if they traded back into early round 2, I could see Seferian-Jenkins.
ILB, if Mosley is there I take him no matter what. If he's not (which I don't think he will be), I would like Borland in round 2-3. Another guy I would consider is Ryan Shazier in round 1. I think he could bulk up a bit and be an ILB. He has speed and is a big hitter.

And for a late round gem. How about a guy like Beau Allen. He played really will at Wisconsin this year playing the NT in their 3-4. I think he could be a good find in the late rounds.
Another. Dri Archer. RB/WR/KR/PR. He is lightning fast. Home run threat anytime he touches the ball.. Would be great as a PR/KR and role player on offense.

Pack88's picture

Brian I have been all over Deon Buchanon for a long time I see Wazzou football weekly and he just crushes people. He is plenty fast so his drill numbers will be important but should GB pass on safety in rd 1 he is my rd 2 guy!

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