Hageman pegged as No. 28 overall pick in ESPN's latest NFL mock draft
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It's been almost four years since the Minnesota Gophers last had a player selected in the NFL Draft (2010 - Eric Decker, third round; Nate Triplett, fifth round).
It's been another four since the Gophers produced a first round pick. Former star running back Laurence Maroney holds that distinction (2006 - 21st overall pick).
Senior defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman looks like he is set to end that streak. Hageman, named to the Associated Press' All-America third team on Monday, has seen his draft stock continue to rise.
In ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's latest mock draft, Hageman was pegged as going late in the first round with the 28th overall pick.
"Hageman had a monster season for Minnesota in 2013, and I think he is one of those guys who will go on to be a better pro than he was a college player. He is tall, long and well-built with good mobility, and he can take on blocks against the run and is an effective bull rusher against the pass. Moreover, he's a perfect fit for the 49ers. He is at his best playing as a 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 alignment, and he could come in and not have to be an every-down guy right away before eventually replacing Justin Smith in the starting lineup. With some improvement to his technique and hand placement, Hageman could be a really good player."
CBSSports.com's Dane Brugler has Hageman going as high as No. 19.
It's a long shot, but Hageman could be joined in the draft by a teammate. Some draft analysts have targeted senior safety Brock Vereen, brother of New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen, as a potential pick in the draft's late rounds.
If Hageman goes in the first round, he would become only the sixth Gopher player to have done so since 1967.