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Updated: November 14th, 2013 7:41pm
One mock draft board targets Ra'Shede Hageman as late-first round pick

One mock draft board targets Ra'Shede Hageman as late-first round pick

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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It has been seven years since the Minnesota Gophers last had a player selected in the first or second round of the NFL Draft, dating back to when the New England Patriots took Laurence Maroney with the 21st overall pick.

As has been hyped since he entered his senior season, defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is likely to end that drought.

Hageman's draft stock has moved up and down this season, but after 10 games the 6-foot-5, 307-pound athletic behemoth is commonly being slotted as a late-first round, early-second round pick on several mock draft boards.

CBSSports.com ranks Hageman as the 27th-best prospect in the 2014 draft class and the No. 2 option at defensive tackle behind Notre Dame's Louis Nix, who could possibly be a top-10 pick.

Hageman is marked down at No. 22 overall on CBSSports.com's Rob Rang's draft board. Rang's CBS colleague Dan Brugler has Hageman at No. 28.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. differs, moving Hageman to sixth among his top-10 DT prospects and projecting him more as a second round selection.

Fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay is buying into Hageman with the Minneapolis native pegged at No. 22 on ESPN's overall prospects list. That would make Hageman primed to go late in the first round.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has Hageman as the fifth pick of the second round (37th overall).

Consistency has been a work in progress for Hageman. After a two-game stretch in which he had two tackles for losses, including one sack, three pass breakups and an interception, Hageman was relatively quiet in the Gophers' wins at Indiana and last weekend against Penn State -- tackles and one pass breakup.

Hageman still has several key showcase opportunities before he kicks into full draft preparations after the season. With Minnesota at 8-2 and drawing increasing buzz, Hageman and the Gophers have a chance at moving a bit more into the national conscience in crucial games against Wisconsin and Michigan State, plus the possibility of an ever-elusive Jan. 1 bowl game.

If Hageman does go in the first or second round, he would become only the sixth Gophers player to do so in the last 30 years.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
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