The Atlanta Falcons bolstered their pass rush by picking Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.
The Falcons are listing Hageman at defensive end even though he started his last 26 games at nose tackle for the Gophers.
“I won’t say I’m ready yet, but I’ll take on that challenge,” Hageman said on a conference call Friday night. “Obviously with the good coaching staff they have, I feel like I’m in good hands. I’m just looking forward to it.”
With the fourth pick in the third round (68th overall) the, Falcons took Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward.
Hageman, the fifth pick of the second round, joins a defense that ranked last in third-down efficiency, second-worst against the run and third-fewest in sacks.
Atlanta’s defense was hampered last year by injuries to linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive end Kroy Biermann. Free safety Thomas DeCoud underperformed and was released.
CHARGERS: Moved up in the second round of the draft to take outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech’s career sacks leader with 31½.
The Chargers traded with Miami to move up seven spots to the 50th pick overall to take Attaochu. Miami got the 57th pick and San Diego’s fourth-round pick, which is No. 125 overall.
Attaochu was a three-year starter at Georgia Tech and played in every game as a freshman. He was moved from outside linebacker to defensive end last year.
BROWNS: Wide receiver Josh Gordon is facing a season-long suspension after another failed drug test months ago, this time for marijuana, according to ESPN.com.
Gordon was expected to be the top target for Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel.
BILLS: Traded receiver Stevie Johnson to his hometown San Francisco 49ers.
The deal was made before the start of the second round of the NFL Draft. In exchange, Buffalo announced it acquired an undisclosed pick in next year’s draft.
REDSKINS: A member of Congress is requesting a hearing on the Washington Redskins’ name, calling it “another example of racial insensitivity in sports” in the wake of Donald Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., sent a letter Friday to the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce citing the derogatory nature of the word “redskins” and suggesting the committee use its influence to persuade team owner Dan Snyder and the NFL to change the name.
Waxman appears unlikely to get the hearing before the committee, which is chaired by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and oversees professional sports.