Hageman could strengthen Ravens' defensive line

Hageman could strengthen Ravens' defensive line
April 3, 2014, 8:45 am
Share This Post
(Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

Would the Ravens consider taking Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman with their first-round pick? The Ravens’ two best defensive linemen are also their oldest - Haloti Ngata (30 years old) and Chris Canty (31 years old). And the Ravens lost Arthur Jones, their most consistent defensive lineman last season, to the Colts in free agency.

Assessing the pros and cons of Hageman, an athletic 6-foot-6, 311-pound prospect, will be one of many decisions the Ravens will make during the next month. Scouts believe Hageman is versatile enough to play tackle or end, and the Ravens need to replace Jones’ production and versatility. Listen to what Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had to say about Jones at the NFL owners meetings.

“He’s played the nose, he’s played the three, and he can play wide,” Pagano said, via a transcript provided by the Pro Football Writers of America. “He can do a lot of things. He can give you inside push, he can beat guys one-on-one.

RELATED: [2014 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: Options at 17]

“You can never have enough defensive linemen. We roll those guys all the time and try to keep them fresh. If you can play with six, seven guys in the defensive front by the time the fourth quarter comes around and everybody is still fresh, it’s going to play to your advantage.”

The Ravens have three young defensive linemen they are developing – Kapron Lewis-Moore, DeAngelo Tyson, and Brandon Williams. However, none of them have proven they can handle the reps that Jones did.

The Ravens visited with Hageman at the combine, and opinions vary on where he will be drafted. Some mock drafts have Hageman falling into the late 20’s.

Others have him falling to the Ravens.

Still others have Hageman going in the top 15.

Strengthening the defensive line has not been an offseason priority for the Ravens – yet. However, if Hageman is available with the 17th pick, that could change.