Saturday, February 22, 2014
Minnesota players arrive at combine
By Ben Goessling
INDIANAPOLIS -- The media room at the NFL scouting combine got its one taste of Minnesota on Saturday afternoon, as Minnesota Gophers defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman and Concordia (St. Paul) defensive end Zach Moore met with reporters in a span of about five minutes.
Hageman, who is projected to be a first-round pick, could be a fit for the Minnesota Vikings, particularly if they decide to trade back and pick up a defensive player in the first round. The 6-foot-6 tackle could play nose tackle for the Vikings and line up alongside 2013 first-rounder Sharrif Floyd, assuming the Vikings don't bring back 11-year veteran Kevin Williams. Hageman, who was converted from a tight end to the defensive line when he came to Minnesota, admitted he's "definitely a few steps behind" some of the tackles in the draft, and is still learning the finer points of the position. But he said he'd be comfortable playing nose tackle if he was asked to do so, and with his size (6-foot-5, 310 pounds and 34 1/4-inch arms), he's the kind of powerful physical specimen that will tempt plenty of teams in the draft.
Moore is the first player from Division II Concordia to be invited to the combine, and wound up at the St. Paul school after failing to qualify academically out of high school. He'll graduate this May with a degree in criminal justice, he said, and could be a late-round pick this spring. The 6-foot-5 end is raw, but could attract attention with his quickness off the ball.