Atlanta Falcons: Breakout candidate Ra’Shede Hageman


Entering his fourth season, the Atlanta Falcons would love to see defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman be their next breakout star

Sometimes it takes a while for things to come together. The Atlanta Falcons surely hope that’s the case with their monstrous defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman. Drafted in 2014 out of Minnesota, Hageman was supposed to be an instant impact player that stuffed the run for the Falcons defense.

So far that hasn’t been the case as he has yet to be a regular starter. With a career high of 27 tackles during 11 starts in 2015, Hageman was relegated to rotational duty again last season and had just 18 take-downs, but did record a career high two sacks.


Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 318-Pounds
Career Tackles: 62
Career Sacks: 4

Of course when drafted as high as he was, criticism will come with such statistics. Hageman understands this, and is doing all he can to put the negative talk behind him in his attempt to be a breakout star in 2017.

"“I wasn’t really reaching my full potential, and I had just a lot of he-said-she-said about being a bust or whatever,” Hageman said according to Will McFadden of the Atlanta Journal-Constitutional. “But at the end of the day, I definitely credit myself and I definitely critique myself for what I need to work on, and I have to have those things, like the naysayers. The results from my first two years, I use that as fuel.”"

With the emergence of Grady Jarrett at one defensive tackle spot and the signing of former Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe at the other, it seems unlikely that Hageman will start much — if at all — in 2017.

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He still can find a way to be a positive member of this team in a rotation behind those two. He still has the strength to make big plays and has shown some ability to at least bring the heat to quarterbacks. If he is able to finally make the leap they were hoping for, this line could be nasty this year and Poe could end up being a one-year rental for the Dirty Birds.