Outside Linebacker, Utah Utes
6-2 7/8, 222
40 time: N/A
Recruited as a quarterback, Hansen switched to safety and then linebacker. His football training offers rare perspective for the position, which shows up in coverage and in his ability to read what’s coming at him.
It was near the line of scrimmage where Hansen boosted his draft stock most in 2018, posting 114 tackles, including a Pac-12 leading 22 tackles for loss in his first season at rover, a hybrid safety-linebacker role.
In a classic case of better late than never, Hansen’s breakout campaign came as a senior — a full s-e-v-e-n years after initially stepping onto campus at Utah. He attempted one pass and rushed four times (for 31 yards) while playing quarterback in 2015 before making the switch to safety in 2016, where he looked like a future NFL draft pick, registering 90 tackles, including 7.5 for loss and proved a turnover magnet, setting career-highs in recovered fumbles (four), forced fumbles (three) and interceptions (three). He also had nine passes defensed and scored his first of two career touchdowns.
Hansen has the resume to warrant top 100 consideration, but his stock is in flux following surgery in January to correct a herniated disk in his lower back. The 6-3, 222-pound Hansen suffered the injury this past October and played through it, receiving multiple injections as he gutted it out, even accepting an invitation to the play at the Senior Bowl.
Rather than compete in the prestigious all-star game, however, Hansen underwent surgery that has kept him from working out for scouts at the Combine or the Utes’ pro day. Older than most prospects due to serving a two-year LDS mission in Brisbane, Australia, the 25-year-old Hansen is now viewed as a likely mid-to-late Day Three selection who could slip out of the draft entirely should teams be nervous about the long-term durability of his back.
Lanky build for the position with broad shoulders and a well-distributed musculature. Excellent key-and-diagnosis skills. Trusts his eyes and attacks the ball, showing burst and aggression to slice gaps in the running game. Former safety, whose experience shows in coverage, showing above average route-recognition and agility to handle man to man and zone duties against tight ends and backs, recording 16 passes defensed and six interceptions over his career.
While his agility and instincts stand out in coverage, at just 222 pounds, Hansen simply isn’t the tone-setter most teams are looking for in an off-ball linebacker, showing just average stopping power as a hitter and too often being dragged as a tackler for additional yardage.
Significantly older than most prospects, turning 26 before he’ll ever suit up in an NFL game after redshirting (2012) and spending two years on an LDS mission (2013-14).
Projection: Fourth Round
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)