NFL Draft 2014: Ra'Shede Hageman gives Falcons versatile, powerful upgrade

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons used the 37th overall pick to grab DT Ra'Shede Hageman, a player who many believed would be a first-round lock. He fell because of some hot-and-cold play, but physically speaking -- at 6'6, 310 pounds -- there's nobody like him in the Draft.

Trend focus:

Multiplicity: Teams these days, more than ever, highly value players that can serve multiple roles in a defense. It allows them to alternate packages and change-up looks to better confuse the defense. Hageman can play inside at the three-technique position and also slide out and play at the five-technique spot on the outside. When he's on, he can bullrush and bully his way past the offensive line and disrupt in the backfield from either spot, and his rare length and jumping ability allows him to be a threat to disrupt passing lanes.

As Falcons' head coach Mike Smith said in March, when rumors hit that they were changing to a 3-4 defense, "We changed what we are calling the guys, but we are doing what we've done in the past. We are going to be very multiple."

Scheme fit:

Hageman fits with the Falcons nicely in that whether they're a 4-3, a 3-4, or a hybrid of the two, he can play all along the line and will be an excellent piece that Atlanta can move around to change looks. It's really a pretty brilliant fit. Past that, his intensity, when it's on, is exactly what the Falcons will need in an increasingly tough, hard-nosed NFC.

Fit on depth chart:

Hageman joins a recently-upgraded Falcons defensive front -- along with Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson -- and solidifies a group that already included Jonathan Babineaux.

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