The Steelers draft visits continue today as they host three more prospects. Minnesota DE Ra’Shede Hageman, Rice CB Phillip Gaines, and UMass TE Rob Blanchflower are all visiting the south side today.
Draft visits today for @Steelers: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota: Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass; Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) April 17, 2014
The prospect who receives top billing out of that group is obviously Ra’Shede Hageman. Many Steelers fans will salivate over the visit, considering the depth at defensive line. Some analysts have suggested that Hageman could go as high as the middle of the first round, but that would be a reach in my opinion. As I’ve said before, I don’t see any 3-4 defensive end prospect in this class that would warrant the #15 pick.
Hageman is 6’6, 310 lbs and has some of the longer arms out of this year’s defensive line class. When I watched Hageman’s film, I saw flashes where he was a difference maker, but much more film of him looking average. When he’s cranked up, he can be a beast to block. He has an inconsistent motor though, which I would imagine would be a concern for scouts. He uses his long arms very well though, and had 8 pass broken up/batted down last year. He also blocked two kicks. Here he is against Wisconsin and Penn St.
Former Rice CB Phillip Gaines is 6’0″, 193 lbs. He ran a 4.38 official 40 at the combine. In the 4 Rice games I watched, Gaines lined up almost exclusively in man to man near the line of scrimmage. He has really good ball awareness, which led to 9 passes broken up and 4 interceptions last year. He was targeted 40 times last season and allowed 13 receptions. He would be a great mid-round addition. Here are a couple of his games from 2013.
Rob Branchflower is 6’4, 256 lbs. Blanchflower had 313 yards on 27 receptions last year at UMass. The red shirt senior missed much of last year due to a bilateral sports hernia. The injury also kept him from participating in combine drills. Branchflower is considered a tough, hard worker on the field. Watching his film, you’ll see that he usually lines up with his hand in the dirt, and is an aggressive run/pass blocker. He could be a great late round/UDFA pick up. Here are a couple of his games. Thanks for stopping by, and as always, thanks for sharing on the interwebs.