NAME: Chase Hansen
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 22
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 220 lbs
Recognition: Runs hot and cold. Generally speaking, when flow runs away from him, is quick to diagnose running back change of direction and can shoot gaps as they develop — this is intuitive as there is generally less traffic when action is away. On run flow toward him, can get swallowed up by the action and is late to identify climbers; will surrender advantageous leverage to second-level blockers and get removed from play. Quick to key on screens.
Angles: Tends to come too sharply downhill when working into the boundary, which tests the limits of his tackle radius and closing burst. Does not do well to maintain outside shoulder relationship as a force player; gives up the edge. Has some slipperiness to him when knifing into interior gaps — here, he benefits from a thinner frame. Does not come into pulling contact with a good vestibular sense for where to strike — will leave gaps open he intended to squeeze or surrender outside space when following block-down/step-down rules.
Block Deconstruction: Struggles mightily here. Does not recruit length to shock/shed blockers and shows a distinct unwillingness to play with low pads and deliver power. Even when he acts as the aggressor, gets swallowed up in the contact point and fails to come off blocks with a good angle or any balance/velocity/power to the ball-carrier. Is far too comfortable locating hands, giving up a few yards, and push-pulling in space to work around blocker and make contact in open space.
Tackling: Tackle radius is highly suspect. Melts off a shocking number of tackles and brings minimal thump behind his pads. Frequently bounced off of at the contact point; does not seem to have the interest or technique to wrap up. Comes into contact with an upright profile and will latch and drag instead of striking and bringing power through his target. Can make space tackles with good closing burst, but again is limited by grip strength/tackle radius and will fail to fully bring ball carriers to ground.
Range: Has good range to impact plays sideline to sideline. Long speed isn’t stellar but initial burst impresses. Has some footwork issues: will cross over his feet on initial step or allow base to narrow when reading backfield action, which leads to late keys and limits his ability to get on the hoof. Lack of awareness regarding outside leverage responsibilities also lead to late clicks and limit effect of sideline range.
Coverage: Does not have a high number of man coverage reps, which is pause-worthy given background as a defensive back. Understands responsibilities in short zones but does not have fantastic instincts — will be late to get connected and can be pulled out of throwing lanes by QB eyes. Will attack quickly downhill out of hook zones to cut off slants and crossers when he sees them develop however, modeling understanding of QB play given quarterbacking background. Has length and athleticism to disrupt as man coverage player, though footwork will need revamping.
Functional Athleticism: Built like a big wide receiver. Thin in the hips and lacking requisite size in the trunk to exchange power in the trenches — likely does not have a great profile for added mass given accelerated age. Length looks good, which surprises given tackle radius problems. Burst impresses, especially from a standstill, and range is sufficient for an NFL WILL. Change of direction ability surprisingly lacking at times, due to poor hip drop and frantic footwork. Likely limited in terms of flexibility.
Toughness: Is willing to deliver strikes in space, especially on unwitting opponents, and is a hard-nosed blitzer. That said, size profile does not lend itself to tough play — wants to keep everything at an arm’s length. Does not anchor down for the extra inch against offensive linemen and will get blown off his spot by larger running backs at the contact point as well. Motor generally runs hot.
Versatility: Likely limited to WILL looks at the next level given recognition abilities as a weakside flow player and struggles taking on contact and maintaining force leverage at the point of attack. Could potentially offer hybrid/overhang ability given defensive back background, though athleticism would be tested in such a role. Projects as a valuable special teamer.
Best Trait: Range
Worst Trait: Tackling
Red Flags: Age
Player Comparison: Su’a Cravens
Chase Hansen may have the buzz of a safety-to-linebacker convert, but he doesn’t offer the on-field athleticism or skills that would indicate he has hybrid potential at the next level. Surprisingly untrusted by his team in many man coverage situations, Hansen could develop into a subpackage player (dime linebacker) who can be a spy/underneath zone defender, but even then he would need to improve his coverage instincts. At his current size, Hansen is a liability against the run unless playing from an overhang position that keeps him in zone coverage in the event of a pass. Already 25 years old, I’m not sure how desperately teams will want to bring Hansen in to develop a unique role for a player likely viewed as a one-contract-and-go prospect.