With the No. 254 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears selected California safety Elijah Hicks.
Hicks is an accomplished defensive back who was named a first-team All-Pac-12 defender in 2021. He started off his collegiate career as a cornerback, but he transitioned over to safety and excelled immediately. A five-year starter during his time at Cal, he is an intelligent defender with a quick processor who plays with a high motor on a consistent basis.
In addition to his high football IQ, Hicks is a physical run defender who isn’t afraid of lowering the shoulder and delivering a powerful hit to opposing ball-carriers. With his versatility up high in coverage and his ability to take on wide receivers in man coverage, Hicks brings an ability to diversify what kind of packages he can appear in at the next level.
I took to Twitter to break down Hicks’ game and how he fits into Chicago’s system:
THREAD: The #Bears added some solid DB depth in the former of Cal S Elijah Hicks.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2022
He’s a versatile defender who has a serious shot to crack the 53-man roster.
Hicks is a five-year starter at the Power 5 level, and that experience shows in his instincts.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2022
He’s a quick processor on the back end, and when he makes a read, he doesn’t hesitate to act upon it. #Bears pic.twitter.com/1t46Tr5uSe
Hicks plays with a high motor, and that shows up both in coverage and against the run.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2022
He battles at the catch point despite being a bit smaller, and he has enough athleticism needed to cover up high. #Bears pic.twitter.com/aLSKKB036J
Hicks started off his career as a cornerback, which gives him added versatility on defense.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2022
He’s scrappy in man coverage and should be able to cover better than most safeties near the line of scrimmage. #Bears pic.twitter.com/HeJYRAvU5G
In addition to his instincts in coverage, Hicks is also an aggressive tackler who hits hard.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2022
He’s a high-motored, high-character player with versatility. He fits the #Bears mold in that regard. pic.twitter.com/FdTXrhDYu5
More on Hicks in our podcast here...