Hansen singled out the Irish skipper as one of the best players in world rugby ahead of their RBS Six Nations clash in Cardiff
But insisted his side would not ignore the threat posed by the rest of the Ireland side that are gunning for their first Grand Slam since 1948.
'O'Driscoll is not far from being the best player in the world,' said Hansen.
'He would definitely be in my World XV and probably as captain.
Humphreys hails Ireland
'But the danger is that you focus too much on one player. This is a complete team who are just two games away from winning the Six Nations.
'They have turned a corner in believing that they are no longer just turning up against the best teams in the world and should have beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand last year.'
Hansen - 'Record are there to be broken'
Leinster centre O'Driscoll will win his 37th cap tomorrow and will pass the century mark for international points if he scores in any form against Wales - he is currently on 99 Test points.
Ireland have made three changes to the side that beat France in Dublin two weeks ago with London Irish wing Justin Bishop, lock Leo Cullen and flanker Alan Quinlan all called up.
HANSEN - 'RECORDS ARE THERE TO BE BROKEN'
Bishop steps into a re-shuffled back line while Cullen and Quinlan replace injured pair Gary Longwell and Victor Costello in the pack.
Hansen, meanwhile, has made seven changes, two positional, to the Wales team beaten 30-22 by Scotland.
The re-shuffle includes a return to the starting lineup for former skipper Colin Charvis, as flanker, and for fit-again Bath hooker Johnathan Humphreys who steps in to captain the side.
Llanelli wing Mark Jones, who has recovered from the concussion suffered against Italy, Pontypridd prop Gethin Jenkins and Neath veteran Gareth Llewellyn are all included while Dafydd Jones switches to No 8 and Cardiff's Rhys Williams reverts to full-back in place of crocked Kevin Morgan.