He had a tackle for loss in three of the final four games, including two sacks, while playing a total of 92 snaps. In the regular-season finale against the Saints, Hageman played 14 defensive snaps and had two tackles against running back Mark Ingram after one-yard gains and another after a two-yard rush.
Hageman is coming on strong after he hadn’t made much impact since the Falcons selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Minnesota.
“I was going through some game tape and what really jumped out for me is how well he’s doing,” Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith said. “He’s doing a much better job of really coming off the ball, playing a lot more aggressively than a year ago. If you talk to him he’ll probably tell you we’ve put him in a position where he doesn’t have as much thinking to do and he’s coming off the ball. He’s been really disruptive. He’s a big man who is very, very powerful and he’s improved from a year ago.”