With a look to the offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the process of shaping their summer roster. They re-signed nearly everyone on their practice squad, sans Tyler Murphy, to future deals that can keep this players through camp. They also added several players from outside the organization, as is the norm, to futures deal. We’ll take you through each one and give you the skinny on each player. Nothing incredibly in-depth but enough background on each to get your familiar with who these people are.
Jacob Hagen/FS 6’2/5 205 – Liberty
Though the Steelers have been open to the idea of using smaller cornerbacks – Antwon Blake and Brandon Boykin, not to mention drafting Senquez Golson – they have just as much preferred big, built safeties. Hagen fits that mold well, as you can see what he weighed in at his Pro Day. His measurables were respectable too, turning in a 4.63 and jumped 36.5 inches in the vertical.
He cracked the starting lineup in 2012, his sophomore season, with quiet results. He exploded the next two years, intercepting six and eight passes in his respective junior and senior seasons. The eight he had his senior year led the entire FCS level, in addition to forcing four fumbles, averaging nearly one turnover per game. Regardless of level, that’s impact player type production and has to catch your eye.
Despite some thinking he could get drafted in the 7th round, Hagen ultimately went undrafted. The St. Louis Rams signed him following the draft. He hung around for the entire summer before getting axed at final cutdowns. There’s a fun story of him winning some sort of grip drill competition during camp, Hagen pointing out his 2x size gloves helping him be the victor. Maybe those big hands is what aided him in intercepting so many passes.
After being released, he was immediately re-signed to the Rams’ practice squad. That was a short-lived stint, however, and he was cut after the first week of the season, sitting at home the rest of 2015.
Like we wrote about with Ray Vinopal, we saw two safeties last year in camp – Alden Darby and Ian Wild – who brought excitement, only to see it extinguished once final cuts were made. I imagine Hagen will be felt in a similar way, his size and playmaking ability will draw some headlines in camp, but anything beyond that is just a guess.