Ronnie Hickman 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Played wide receiver and safety in high school
- Was an All-American lacrosse player in high school
- 2021 Second-Team All-Big-Ten
- Scheme tendencies: Blended coverage schemes
- 2022 projected role: Starting safety
Pros: Ronnie Hickman is an aggressive downhill safety that does well to diagnose, trigger, and get around the football. The Buckeyes frequently tasked him with being the “plus one” defender in the box and I came away impressed with his ability to navigate congested areas of the field and get to the ball. He is a physical tackler that mostly does well to wrap and finish. Hickman illustrates good reactive athleticism with good short-area quickness and change of direction ability. Hickman is mostly sound in coverage where his ability to stay leveraged and process route combinations stand out. He has some flashy moments in man coverage where he can carry routes vertically but also holds his own reading the backfield and working into throwing lanes.
Cons: Ronnie Hickman was able to collect a pair of interceptions where the ball found him and ideally he would showcase more in the way of making plays on the football in the passing game. The Buckeyes played him frequently in the box and in split zone looks, making it unclear what type of potential he has as a single-high defender. While I like his physicality and aggressiveness as a tackler, he isn’t immune to misses where he falls off the ball carrier. He has some room to fill out his frame and get stronger. He had an injury in high school that led to a redshirt in 2019 and his season ended in 2020 after five games due to injury.
Ronnie Hickman NFL Draft Scouting Report by Joe Marino