This is CHGO’s Chicago Bears 2022 player preview series. Learn more about each player and what to expect from them this year.
Elijah Hicks is entering his rookie season after being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round (254th overall). The former University of California safety is one of many additions general manager Ryan Poles added to the Bears’ secondary.
Elijah Hicks’ 2021 Stats (College)
Best Game of 2021 (College)
Hicks’ best game of his senior season came in the middle of October against Colorado. The safety snagged two interceptions and notched 2.5 tackles for a loss, including a sack.
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Can Hicks make the final 53-man roster?
Hicks is a talented player. He has a good blend of size (5-foot-11, 200 pounds), athleticism and instincts. One of the reasons why the Bears were able to draft him in the seventh round was due to Hicks breaking his foot in practice before the East-West Shrine game, which kept him from participating in any pre-draft activities like the NFL Combine or Cal’s pro day.
It’s very similar to Eddie Jackson falling in the 2017 draft after breaking his leg.
So far, the rookie has been limited in OTAs as he continues to recover from the injury.
He’s not in contention to earn a starting job at safety as that is locked down with Jackson and fellow rookie Jaquan Brisker.
If he’s fully healthy for training camp, perhaps there’s a chance he could join the battle between Tavon Young, Duke Shelley and potentially Thomas Graham Jr. for the nickel spot.
Hicks was a cornerback early on in his collegiate career. He has the ball skills and is a physical player that likes to play the run. It’s possible the Bears test his versatility.
However, expecting Hicks to win any job outright seems like a tough task. It most likely will come down to whether or not Hicks can be an effective contributor on special teams to determine if he’ll make the final roster.
Patience will most likely be needed for Hicks. Even though he is more talented than a typical seventh-round pick, the odds are against him when it comes to winning a starting job.
DeAndre Houston-Carson and Dane Cruikshank are effective special-teamers at safety. If the Bears want to have larger numbers at other positions, Hicks may be the odd man out come Week 1.
Prediction: Starts the season on the practice squad before being elevated to the active roster at some point.