OL Joe Haeg: Drafted
Round 5, 155th overall
Team: Indianapolis Colts
Position: Offensive Tackle
Hometown: Lake Shore, Minn.
High School: Brainerd HS
No. 12 offensive tackle in the draft
No. 109 overall prospect
North Dakota State Career: First team All-America in 2014 and 2015 and Top Collegiate Offensive Lineman by the FCS Athletic Directors Association. Former walk-on who was charged with following a pair of NFL tackles in Paul Cornick and Billy Turner. Made 29 of 30 possible starts at right tackle his first two years after Cornick's departure, and moved to starting left tackle for 31 straight games in 2014 and 2015 after Turner's graduation.
- 2016 Senior Bowl
- 2015 Walter Camp FCS All-America Team
- 2015 STATS All-America First Team
- 2015 STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Finalist (13th)
- 2014 Sports Network All-America First Team
- 2014 AFCA All-America
- 2014, 2015 Associated Press All-America First Team
- 2014, 2015 FCS Athletic Directors Association All-America
- 2014, 2015 College Sporting News "Fab 50" All-America
- 2014, 2015 College Sporting News Offensive Lineman of the Year
- 2014, 2015 All-MVFC First Team
- 2015 MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week (2x)
- 2014 MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week (2x)
- 2013 MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week
He said it: Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
Every draft since 2010 has seen at least one offensive lineman from a non-FBS school drafted in the top 100. Haeg is this year's best candidate, as the 2014 (AP, AFCA) and 2015 (AP, Walter Camp) All-American hopes to follow in his former teammate's shoes; tackle Billy Turner was drafted in the third round by Miami in 2014. This former walk-on received the Top Collegiate Offensive Lineman award from the FCS Athletic Directors Association in 2015, as well. Haeg, a two-time first team All-Missouri Valley Conference pick, started 60 of a possible 61 games (29 at right tackle, 32 on the left side after Turner went to the NFL).
STRENGTHS Athletic build with potential to add more bulk to his frame. Four-year starter who comes from winning program. Has played both tackle spots. Plays with good posture in his pass sets and uses his length effectively. Can get to the perimeter quickly and seal the edge when asked to short pull around the corner. Agile with lateral quickness. Drives his feet up and along line of scrimmage to maintain leverage in zone engagement. Doesn't panic against spin moves in pass rush.
NFL COMPARISON James Hurst
BOTTOM LINE While the pedigree and the body type look the part, continued tape study begins to uncover core strength issues that permeate several facets of his game. As a run blocker, his inability to drive and sustain blocks is a concern while his pass protection shows a good, initial pass set that turns into leaning to make up for his lack of anchor. While Haeg has the athletic traits of a zone blocking tackle, it won't matter without better functional power.
Prospect Evaluation (CBS Sports)
Haeg walked on at North Dakota State and redshirted in 2011, but he leaves as a two-time All-American and a member of five consecutive Mountain West title teams with the Bison.
"I was 6-foot-6 and always had the length, but only 235 pounds as a senior and wasn't getting a lot of attention as a recruit," Haeg told NFLDraftScout.com. "Most schools were worried about my weight and ability to add it. I heard from mostly Division-II schools in Minnesota, but then the summer before my senior year, North Dakota and North Dakota State both reached out.
"I knew I could play at that level and wanted to prove to everyone I could play at that level. I played my senior year and was leaning towards North Dakota, but the offensive line coach left and they gave my scholarship to a different guy. North Dakota State was always straight forward with me and I walked on there, which turned out to be a blessing and life-changing decision."
He earned the starting right tackle job in 2012 and started 29 games there as a freshman and sophomore.
With Billy Turner moving on to the NFL after the 2013 season, Haeg moved over to left tackle for the 2014 season, starting all 16 games as a junior and senior earning All-American honors as the Bison won their fourth and fifth FCS national titles.
"Joe has the feet of a dancer out there, setting up and cutting off rushers with his natural quicks," an NFL scout told NFLDraftScout.com in September. "He's also bigger than I thought. Definitely shows skills that we can work with on our team."
Haeg said he believes he can be effective on either side of the line.
"Give me a month or two and I could go back to right tackle," he told NDS. "A lot of it is just brain memory, switching from the right to the left side. It's a lot of the same stuff, the same stance. I'm very comfortable with both positions.
"With left tackle, there is a lot of pride that comes with that. The left tackle is one of the better linemen on the line, protecting the quarterback's blind side. I'm very comfortable at both."
STRENGTHS: An athletic mover with a smooth lateral shuffle off the snap and the range to easily reach the perimeter, blocking outside the numbers and at the second level. He squares well to his target and carries his weight well, displaying terrific reaction quickness to handle secondary moves. Also shows excellent vision to recognize multiple pressures and communicate with his teammates to have every rusher accounted for on the left side of the line.
He showed impressive balance, agility and strength in pass protection against an uptick in competition in Senior Bowl practices.