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NFL Draft 2024 Scouting Report: Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State

Jaden Hicks Named Freshman All-American - Washington State University Athletics

Image: Washington State University Athletics


Height: 6’2”

Weight: 211

Arm Length: 31 ½           


40-Yard Dash: N/A

10-Yard Split: N/A

3-Cone: 6.88 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.37 seconds

Vertical: 37.5”

Broad Jump: 10’2”

Bench Press: 16



  • Fires downhill from his safety spot to make tackles. 
  • Played all over the field for the Cougars. 
  • Is an effective blitzer. 
  • Good closing burst and length to be disruptive at the catchpoint.


  • Is a bit nonchalant going into his backpedal. 
  • Needs to do a better job of wrapping up when tackling. 
  • Looks like he’s guessing in man coverage instead of reacting.
  • Short-area lateral agility is maybe average. 


  • Finished second on Washington State in total tackles (76) in 2022. 
  • All-PAC 12 Honorable Mention in 2023. 



A swiss army knife for Washington State, safety Jaden Hicks was a do it all type of player for the Cougars. While many don’t think he’ll play this same role in the NFL, why can’t he? As the adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

For the Cougars, Jaden Hicks played all over the field. In some instances, he was their defense’s high safety, in others he played in the slot, at other times he was a box defender, and when he wasn’t doing this, he was up close and personal at the line of scrimmage. From his tape, it’s obvious Hicks plays his best football when coming downhill. From his high safety spot, he fires downhill to make tackles on running backs before they can break it big. At the line of scrimmage and in off-coverage, he’s an effective blitzer who stays true to his rush path against blitz pickups. Even more, Hicks has the desired burst and length to close in on receivers and be disruptive at the catchpoint. 

However, for a safety, it’s important to be consistent in your backpedal. When backpedaling, Jaden Hicks is consistently nonchalant. Furthermore, his short-area agility is maybe average at best. This shows in man coverage as it appears he’s guessing which way a receiver will break rather than quickly reacting. Lastly, he needs to do a better job with wrapping up ballcarriers. He often takes the correct angles to get in position to make a play, now it’s just a matter of finishing. 

Jaden Hicks has the versatility and experience to be a starter in the NFL. It’ll take some fine tuning, but he should be a valuable pickup for any club needing safety or DB help on Day 2. 


My Two Cents

Versatility is an underrated trait in my opinion. While it’s nice to have players who standout in singular ways, I think it’s just as nice to have players who can play well in almost any scenario. This is Jaden Hicks. He doesn’t currently standout in any one area, which is why he’ll most likely begin as a backup. But, he has the foundation to be something special. 


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