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 Post subject: Eric Hagg, FS, Nebraska
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25774
Location: North Carolina
ERIC HAGG
6-1/206
Nebraska Senior
40: 4.60 (estimated)

PROS:

Smart, disciplined player that is capable coming up to defend the run on the edge. Funnels the ball back inside to his teammates. Capable of wrapping up on the edge and making the open field tackler. Show some pop as a hitter, coming up to meet a ballcarrier head on. Comfortable working up in the box. Can line up against the slot receiver and has decent hips and burst for a safety. Does a nice job keeping things in front of him. Able to make the quick stop after the catch. Show some potential as a return threat.

CONS:

Doesn't have great hips or burst when playing against slot receivers in man coverage. Doesn't have the ball skills to really make a ton of plays as he doesn't do a great job turning to locate the ball in the air. Needs to improve his footwork and technique when playing in the slot and has trouble turning and running with receivers. Doesn't always take the best angles to the ball and not the biggest tackler.

OVERVIEW:

Hagg is a versatile option for Nebraska that often went against the slot receiver in their nickel package. I wasn't really that impressed with him until he did a nice job containing Ryan Broyles, the nation's leading receiver in the Big 12 Championship game. Broyles beat him a few times, but he only had 3 catches for 61 yards with Hagg, not Alfonzo Dennard or Prince Amukamara matched up with him most of the game. Basically he's a guy that isn't the most gifted athlete or player, but he'll do whatever assignment you ask him, which is exactly what teams need from complementary players. He turned in his best year as a senior with 49 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 5 picks, 4 breakups, a forced fumble and recovery each. He started two other years at safety for Nebraska, combining for 79 tackles, 12 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 pick, 11 breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 recovery in those years. He also took a 95-yard pooch punt back for a score as a senior, flashing the quickness, vision, and burst to potentially get more work there at the next level.

NFL FORECAST:

Basically Hagg was a glue guy for the Nebraska defense. He wasn't one of their top playmakers, but his ability to play a hybrid position of safety/linebacker/nickel corner for them was essential to their success the past two years. I think he can have a similar NFL career. I don't think he's going to be a guy that is going to be a top starter or a guy that is going to come in right away and compete in that role. But he fits well as a potential free safety in the pro scheme because he's disciplined in coverage and is not averse to covering receivers. Again, he's not skilled enough to really go up against premium receivers and make stops. His lack of ideal ball skills and hips will prevent that, but he's not a guy that is going to give up a ton of big plays. And with time and development, he's only going to get more disciplined and smarter. He is a capable run defender that again isn't going to make every stop, but for the most part he'll get the job done. I think he's a guy that coaches are going to like that two or three years of working as a reserve and special teams performer, he'll be entrusted with a starting job and he'll do fine. He'll work best on a team that has other playmakers around him that will do most of the work. The comparison I would make is a Jim Leonhard-type, not in terms of his skillset, but because he's a guy that does a lot of the little things that make more talented teammates around him better.

ATL FORECAST:

Hagg could have the potential to replace DeCoud in the starting lineup for the Falcons at free safety down the road. I'm not sure he has the speed, range, and ball skills of DeCoud as a centerfielder in coverage, but is smart, disciplined enough that he should be able to handle the role. If the Falcons chose not to re-sign DeCoud after the 2011 season, he might be able to come in and be a decent replacement starter. Again, not really an upgrade over DeCoud, but a decent stopgap option and alternative. Instead, his better value with the Falcons is more as a quality No. 3 safety that can be a good fit to replace Coleman as the team's top backup at both safety spots and the Falcons not be overly concerned about their depth if DeCoud or Moore were to go down for an extended period of time due to injury.

VALUE:

Hagg adds premium depth, but does have some potential to be a quality starter down the road. A third round pick would not be a reach, but he's probably better value coming off the board in the fourth.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 2.5
Tackling: 3.0
Coverage: 3.0
Ball Skills: 2.5
Range: 2.5

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