Rd 7, P254: Elijah Hicks, DB - California

College football and the NFL Draft

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wab
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I legit have no idea who this is
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He looks like an awesome energy guy.



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mmmc_35
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Well hes a guy. No one knows anything about him.
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Converted corner, which explains the ball skills/hawking.

Hicks started as a cornerback, but switched to safety after the 2019 season. Last season he racked up an incredible 72 tackles in 12 games. He was also a takeaway machine, with three interceptions and four forced fumbles.

...Hicks suffered an injury during practice before the East-West Shrine Game. This led to him not participating and, as a side effect, not going to the scouting combine or performing at the Cal pro day. He basically fell off the map because of some terrible luck.


IMO this is exhibit A on how this covid draft had some good players fall through the cracks because of volume. He was like number 68 Safety and had no predraft rating. Played west coast games to more limited audiences. The powers that be who decide who people should pay attention to decided he was going to be UDFA. I don't know how some sites show measurables when he didn't do a pro day....

I loved the interview with this kid. He's a character and genuinely thrilled to be a Bear. Watching his tape he reminds me of Mike Brown. Of course the tape doesn't show botched/missed plays, and maybe he's rough. But he was first team all Pac-12 and the CAL DEFENSIVE MVP! I love the flyer on him, and I love rooting for guys like this.
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Far more/better video than the limited one on the Bears site. Love the Peanut punch FF where his teammate ran it back. Love the sacks/TFL and passes defended.

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:shock:
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I friggin' love this guy. He's Turnt!

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Hicks started as a cornerback, but switched to safety after the 2019 season. Last season he racked up an incredible 72 tackles in 12 games. He was also a takeaway machine, with three interceptions and four forced fumbles.

...Hicks suffered an injury during practice before the East-West Shrine Game. This led to him not participating and, as a side effect, not going to the scouting combine or performing at the Cal pro day. He basically fell off the map because of some terrible luck.
Maybe the Thomas Graham of this years draft. Had a lot of DNP listed next to his Combine and Pro Day stats but from watching his highlight video the kid knows how to play some football. Could also be a Slot CB or Nickel/Dime Safety in sub packages. He's a playmaker type of guy who creates turnovers. That alone will endear him to "Flus".
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wab wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:24 pm I legit have no idea who this is
I got word of him kind of late, but then he didn't run at his pro day and I lost track of him, never got around to his tape. In 2020 and 2021 combined, dude had more than 10% of his team's solo tackles and four of the team's 16 interceptions.

Not much out there, but I did find a scouting report from The Draft Network and from Tony Pauline at Pro Football Network.
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Definitely won the press conference game! How can you not like this guy?
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Definitely seems like a guy who fell under the radar due to an injury. Could be a 4th safety special teams guy. I get the pick more now after his injury was explained.
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Mikefive wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 5:36 pm Definitely won the press conference game! How can you not like this guy?
He sounds real down to earth. Love the part when he mentioned that his girlfriend had bought a hat of every team so he'd be ready depending on who drafted him:

Reporter: So you keep the tags on the other 31 so you can return them?
Elijah: Yeah, they getting returned real quick.

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wab wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:24 pm I legit have no idea who this is
Same. I didn't have time to really delve into nonCombine guys this year - and even if I had, with no Pro Day workout, I'm sure he wouldn't have hit my radar, anyway.

thunderspirit wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 4:48 pm

I got word of him kind of late, but then he didn't run at his pro day and I lost track of him, never got around to his tape. In 2020 and 2021 combined, dude had more than 10% of his team's solo tackles and four of the team's 16 interceptions.

Not much out there, but I did find a scouting report from The Draft Network and from Tony Pauline at Pro Football Network.

I would change "4th" to "4th/5th, probably 5th", but I think this sounds like a good summary:
Analysis: Hicks is an efficient defensive back who gets the most from his ability, but he lacks the athleticism for the next level. He can be a fourth safety on Sundays, but Hicks must stand out on special teams this summer.
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Moriarty wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:23 am
wab wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:24 pm I legit have no idea who this is
Same. I didn't have time to really delve into nonCombine guys this year - and even if I had, with no Pro Day workout, I'm sure he wouldn't have hit my radar, anyway.

thunderspirit wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 4:48 pm

I got word of him kind of late, but then he didn't run at his pro day and I lost track of him, never got around to his tape. In 2020 and 2021 combined, dude had more than 10% of his team's solo tackles and four of the team's 16 interceptions.

Not much out there, but I did find a scouting report from The Draft Network and from Tony Pauline at Pro Football Network.

I would change "4th" to "4th/5th, probably 5th", but I think this sounds like a good summary:
Analysis: Hicks is an efficient defensive back who gets the most from his ability, but he lacks the athleticism for the next level. He can be a fourth safety on Sundays, but Hicks must stand out on special teams this summer.
Some players come to mind who didn't have NFL size or speed but not only survived in the NFL but also rose to starting because of their intuitive grasp of the game. They were undersized or slower - but played bigger and because of their football IQ the game was slower for them as well. Mike Brown stands out in my mind. Nate Vasher another.

It isn't common for that to happen, and I'm not predicting Hicks will crack the starting lineup. But if his anticipation, timing and nose for the ball & turnovers do translate and show up in the NFL his deficiencies won't keep him off the field. Especially as a T2 safety where Mike Brown brains trump Danny Manning athleticism every time.
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DH-C is 29 years old and in his 7th season. He's been a very effective ST guy for years and more recently has made some nice plays in his role as a sub package Safety. Gotta think about replacing him eventually just as we had to with McManis. Hicks is a kid who may have a shot at taking over DH-C's role.
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