College Football: Hageman shines at Gophers’ Pro Day
Representatives from more than half the NFL teams were on-hand at the University of Minnesota Pro Day Monday, where nine former Gophers were among those to work out.
The star attraction was Ra’Shede Hageman, the No. 26 overall prospect and No. 4 defensive tackle in this year’s class, according to NFLDraftScout.com ratings. Hageman stood on his workout results from the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, but measured in at 6-feet-6 and 311 pounds and went through positional drills.
“Obviously, when the coaches came, they wanted to see me do drills, see how my footwork is and just my technique or whatever,” Hageman told USA Today. “So, I felt like it was a good move for me. I feel like I put a good amount of numbers just to stand out at the combine.”
Hageman is seeking to become the first Gopher selected in the first round since running back Laurence Maroney in 2006. He will likely meet with teams in the coming weeks, but still has more than two months before the 2014 NFL Draft kicks off May 8.
“That is a very long time,” Hageman told the Star-Tribune. “So I think I’m just going to barricade myself in my room. Just play video games and just work out.”
Many of the scouts in attendance were also interested in watching Concordia-St. Paul defensive end Zach Moore (6-5, 269) go through positional drills. A potential late-round flier who posted a school career record with 33 sacks, Moore was credited with a 4.84 40 at the combine and stood on that number.
The only other former Gopher at Monday’s workout who is considered a draftable prospect is Brock Vereen, the No. 12-rated strong safety. He also stood on his combine numbers (4.47 40, position-best 25 reps) while measuring in at 6-feet, 199 pounds and going through positional drills.
“I feel like I opened some eyes at the combine and I wanted to show them (during Pro Day) that it wasn’t a fluke or anything like that,” Vereen told the Star-Tribune.
Defensive tackle Roland Johnson is considered a likely undrafted free agent, but impressed with 40 reps on the 225-pound bench press, which would have ranked second among all prospects invited to the combine.
“Actually, I expected to get 50,” Johnson told the Star-Tribune. “The record is 49, and that was my goal.”
A large contingent for the Minnesota Vikings took in the workout, which isn’t surprising with the franchise playing at the university’s TCF Bank Stadium while the Vikings’ new stadium is built and the staff scheduled to tour the facilities.
Wide receiver Derrick Engel, who is recovering from December surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee, was also in attendance. He isn’t expected to be drafted, but said he hopes to be running full speed in April and cleared to work out for teams by May.